Isn’t this Blood Suckery? Shameless Ministry of Finance and URA to impose 75 sh, 10% tax on waters from the pearl of Africa.

I know I will be misunderstood by some satisfied and Unpatriotic Ugandans but truthfully most often , the ministry of Finance has always imposed tainted taxes to clear unpay debts pocketed by a few chosen ones in the country leaving a helpless taxpayer swallowing his own saliva. By implementing these inhuman numerous tax policies that have burdened ordinary citizens like Data/ Internet tax yet you want the over 70% unemployed youth to do research and be innovative, while granting tax waivers to big companies without clear justification. This unfair treatment has left Ugandans, especially the taxpayers, disillusioned and distrustful of the Ministry of Finance and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

Mr. Ggoobi Ramathan, the Secretary to the Treasury, recently made an ironic statement at the Ministry of Finance X account, further exacerbating the public’s frustration. This article aims to challenge the government’s taxation practices and propose measures to alleviate the suffering of local Ugandans.

The Ministry of Finance and URA have proposed new taxes on essential items such as construction materials and mineral water. For instance, an excise duty tax rate of Shs500 per 50Kgs of Cement, adhesives, grout, white cement, or lime will likely increase the prices of these products on the market. Additionally, a 10% or Shs75 per litre tax on mineral water, bottled water, and other drinking water sources has been imposed. These taxes disproportionately affect the majority of Ugandans to live in expensive rentals, land accessibility and affordability, keeping them in abject poverty while supporting the already wealthy, filthily wealthier.

The mentioned multitrillion debt acquired by the government has raised concerns about its allocation and utilization. It is disheartening to see that this debt is seemingly pocketed by a few colleagues in different ministries, without considering the plight of poor peasants, market hawkers, and farmers. The debt burden falls on the shoulders of every Ugandan, including the silent majority who struggle to make ends meet. It is evident that the current administration must address corruption and fix the leakages before imposing further taxes with zero positive impact.

Corruption is the root cause of the government’s failure to pay off debts in a timely manner. The lack of accountability and mismanagement of funds have resulted in poor service delivery, including inadequate infrastructure, unemployment, and a struggling healthcare system. The recent Lubowa hospital scandal and the presence of drugless dispensaries and health centers highlight the hopelessness faced by ordinary citizens. Additionally, the low payments of teachers and doctors further exemplify the unwillingness of Ugandans to pay taxes when services are not being delivered.

Call for Accountability and Transparency is an another problem. It is crucial for Mr. Ggoobi Ramathan and the URA to consider the source of taxes and the impact they have on the lives of ordinary Ugandans. The imposition of a 10% or Shs75 per litre tax on bottled mineral water, sourced from rainwater, lakes, and rivers, raises questions about the fairness and transparency of tax policies. The government must prioritize the welfare of its citizens and ensure equitable treatment for all, rather than burdening them with new taxes while granting unnecessary waivers to big companies.

In a nutshell, The Ministry of Finance and the URA must take immediate action to address the concerns raised by the Ugandan public. Fairness, transparency, and accountability are essential in tax policies to favor local Ugandans and alleviate their suffering. It is high time the government fixed the leakages caused by corruption, ensuring that funds are directed towards essential services, research, industrialization, and innovation. By doing so, the government can empower the youth, create employment opportunities, and uplift the living standards of all Ugandans. Failure to address these issues will only push Ugandans further away from their own country, leading them to seek better opportunities elsewhere. The pearl of Africa deserves better, and it is the responsibility of the government to deliver on its promises.

By A Patriotic Cadre.
Akansasira Junior Victor
NALI intake August 2016.
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