By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus – President Yoweri Museveni has expressed his displeasure at Uganda's tax to GDP ratio, which is14.3% according to the 2020/2021 national budget, read by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija yesterday, June 11.
In his budget speech, President Museveni said this statistic makes Uganda's tax to GDP ratio among the lowest in Africa, stating that other countries had GDP ratios of up to 18%.
According to the president, the low tax collection is because of the massive corruption by Uganda Revenue Authority officials that he has “since forced out.”
“There has been a lot of corruption in URA. That one I have cleaned. We have cleaned that crowd of the corrupt. Like we shall do in other areas,” President Museveni said.
Several URA officials were forced to leave the tax body last week because of the president's "clean up." These include Henry Saka, Dicksons Kateshumbwa, and Siraje Kanyesigye.
“Those young people who were given an opportunity to serve their country were instead doing their own things. We begged them to stop but they were behaving like they are doing us a favour. We shall come for whoever is corrupt,” the president said.
Consequently, the new URA Commissioner General, John Rujoki Musinguzi, who replaced Doris Akol that was fired in March, announced a reshuffle bringing in Patrick Mukiibi who replaced Kateshumbwa.
The other appointments in the reshuffle include Mathew Stephen Mugabi as the Acting Commissioner Tax Investigations docket while James Kizza was appointed Acting Commissioner Corporate Services and John Tinka Katungwensi, who was appointed the Acting Commissioner Large Taxpayers in the new changes.
As it is, Uganda estimates to collect 21.8trillion in revenue, 20trillion of which is expected to be tax revenue and 1.5trillion non-tax revenue.