By Our Reporters
The Inspector General of Government (IGG ) led by Ms. Beti Kamya is Investigating Uganda’s tax body –Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for alleged corruption, fraudulent transactions that are making government lose revenues in billions leading to short fall in tax revenue collections .
For the current FY 2022/2023,t URA already has a set target to collect Ug.shs29.7 trillion . It is not clear whether the tax body will meet its collection targets if the said corruption tendencies still exist at the institution .
Parliament has already expressed concern at the poor performance of URA- yet government wants to reduce the national debt burden by increasing local revenue generation.
The public is also not happy with URA’s targeted and deepening tax collection methods- where a small catchment pool of compliant tax payers are over taxed instead of widening the tax base by having as many Ugandans and businesses meet their tax liabilities .
This after parliament appropriating billions of shillings to URA to improve its methods of work .
Ms Beti Kamya, the Inspector General of Government (IGG), has since told the media that her office has launched investigations into the mis-management of URA following the whistleblower’s alarm.
“We did receive a detailed whistleblower’s account of a number of things going on in URA and we started investigations, but I will not give details because it may undermine the integrity of the investigations,” Kamya stated .
Meanwhile, a former Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) tax officer, Dennis Tumusiime was remanded to Luzira prison for allegedly causing government a financial loss of over Shs 9 billion.
Tumusiime, 43, was remanded by the Anti Corruption court on six charges of abuse of office and causing financial loss.
Between 2019 and 2021, Tumusiime is said to have adjusted and reduced the tax of various companies and individuals without justification – well knowing that his actions would cause government a financial loss. Tumusiime reportedly adjusted the ledgers of Fast Forwarding and Shipping Company Limited from Shs 648,729 to zero.
The prosecution also contends that between January and December 2020, Tumusiime reduced the tax liability worth Shs 1.1 billion for African Capacity Development and Research Institute, Bageine and Company Limited, Brandguard Limited, Flavish Events Limited, J and E Civil Engineering Works Limited, Krystal Concepts Limited, Mass Projects Uganda Limited, Mr Shem Bageine Bajura, Mukasa Couriers Limited, Prime Machinery Limited, Summy Trading International Company Limited, Swisa Enterprises Limited and Twincom Technologies Limited.
It is also alleged that between January and December 2021, Tumusiime reduced tax worth Shs 4.5 billion from goods of Amiancy Investments Company Limited, Arcano Investments Limited, Grand Victoria Limited, Mr Kalungi Godfrey, Mr Robert Blick Migadde, Power Consults Engineering Limited, Prestige Electronics and Computers Limited, Rizwan Trading (U) Limited, Sarjan Construction Uganda Limited, Smartec Electronics Limited and Taste Buds Limited.
During the same time, Tumusiime is also accused of reducing the tax liabilities of Smartwatch Solutions Limited, Tumbine Enterprises Limited, Mr Abas Kalule, Grand Victoria Limited worth Shs 3.7 billion. According to the prosecution led by Stuart Ahabwe, the actions of Tumusiime were arbitrary to the interests of his employer, Uganda Revenue Authority.
Tumusiime through his lawyer Diana Kasabiiti pleaded not guilty and was remanded until April 13. investigations are continuing .
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