On Friday, at the Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile Memorial lecture, Ugandan President Museveni mentioned the Finance Ministry, Bank of Uganda, and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) as examples of public institutions where corruption continues to be a problem for the nation today.
According to president Museveni, corruption is the primary reason preventing Uganda’s socio-economic reforms.
Museveni said that corruption is corruption and economic issues cannot be considered corruption. The corruption at the Ministry of Finance and the URA is the real cause of the low tax GDP ratio of 13% or 14%. Although they have updated, the issue remains.
President Museveni added that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) person who raised this issue was correct. He argued that he warned them many times that he had evidence to show them that there is a lot under the collection of tax.
Museveni blamed the Ministry of Finance for the corruption of taxes that are present in all these new buildings, real estate, and telecommunication industries.
He said they were having difficulty with those who were under Mutebile because they were not as moral as Mutebile was. According to Museveni, these people were engaging in a variety of negative deeds.
He remarked that there is a lot of corruption in these telephone businesses. They make a lot of calls but only declare a small portion of their revenue.
When the authority questioned the under-declaration of calls by telecommunications companies the previous day, Ms. Irene Kaggwa, executive director of the Uganda Communications Commission, said that efforts are being made to look into the issue but that she needed some time to sit down with that newspaper and provide it with the background to fully appreciate and understand it.
President declared that the Ugandan government is engaged in a serious war against corruption and he promised the nation to deal with the corrupt people.
As president Museveni addressed important economic issues, he brought up corruption. Dr. Kaberuka, the chair of the Global Fund and the seventh president of the African Development Bank, was one of the panelists at the first Mutebile memorial lecture.
The Bank of Uganda’s director of communications, Ms. Charity Mugumya, declined to comment on the President’s allegations about corruption at the Bank of Uganda (BoU) and requested the newspaper to approach the presidency’s office for clarification.
The Uganda Revenue Authority’s assistant commissioner of corporate and public affairs, Mr. Ibrahim Bbosa, acknowledged that the tax agency was deeply corrupt two years ago before he joined the organization. He added that a lot is happening in that direction and that President Museveni sent the present Commissioner General Musingguzi Rujooki to sort out the issues.
Mr. Bbosa claims that URA management implemented lifestyle audits on any employees with integrity complaints and that the taxman is making efforts to fully automate all of their procedures to reduce human contact.
Regarding his legacy, the President referred to the late governor as a valuable ally and a member of NRM, a favorable force on the side of the economy, who supported his administration and their effort to reform the economy. Along with the reformation, they supported him in emphasizing the private sector, stabilizing the shilling, and managing inflation.
In addition to advocating for a free market economy, Mutebile opposed the adoption of a minimum salary and health insurance.
The president had an argument with Mutebile and Dr. Ezra Suruma over the acquisition of the Uganda Commercial Bank. The President explained that he had initially disagreed with the late Mutebile but had ultimately won him over. He now regrets this decision and calls it a mistake.
Dr. Kaberkuka asserts that Mutebile would have urged the government to address the country’s current 50 percent foreign debt, which is just short of the maximum 64 percent limit if he had still been the Governor of the Bank Of Uganda.
He added that the country is performing poorly in debt servicing and requested that the government investigate the expanding real estate market to increase the tax base and mobile domestic revenue.
The assistant commissioner of corporate and public relations at URA, Mr. Ibrahim Bbosa, reaffirmed that the tax body is changing its workforce to bring in a type of person who can be trained to think in the direction they want the authority to go in. In addition, he discussed senior management changes, which in his view, had never previously occurred in the tax body’s recent past.
Dr. Michael Atingi-Ego, the Deputy Governor of BOU, added that Prof. Mutebile was a determined leader as well as a powerful orator who spoke with conviction on economic policy and central banking
Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile passed away in Nairobi on January 23, 2022. The 72-year-old Mutebile had difficulties with diabetes. He has served as the governor of the Bank of Uganda for 20 consecutive years.
Mutebile was initially appointed as the governor of the BoU in January 2001. Later in 2006, 2010, and 2015, he received three further appointments for five years.