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    CSOs Warn Govt On Social Media Tax And Tax Exemptions To Foreign Investors

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    Finance minister Matia Kasaija

     

    Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) under the tax justice alliance Uganda, a consortium of NGOs advocating for better taxation have advised govt to have fair and just ways in which taxes are collected from Ugandans as it hopes to finance the 2018/19 budget.

    The consortium comprising of Action Aid Uganda, Uganda National Health Consumers Organization, SEATINI Uganda and Uganda Debt Network are of the view that the proposed tax measures for the FY 2018/19 presented to parliament by the finance minister which include, the income tax amendment bill 2018, lotteries and gaming amendment bill 2018, excise duty amendment bill 2018, VAT amendment bill 2018, stamp duty amendment bill 2018 among others are going to become a huge burden to Ugandans and this will in a long run create tax evasion hence low tax collection.

    Addressing a joint press conference today in Kampala, Namagga Imelda, the Programme manager Uganda Debt Network says, most of the taxes imposed on locally manufactured goods and services will instead lead to increased prices hence low consumption which in the long run will affect local production as well as low utilization of services in banks.

    However, Fred Kawooya the programme manager Action Aid Uganda cautioned govt on taxing SACCOs, social media and mobile money transactions, saying this will impact negatively on the wellbeing of the poor Ugandans who have turned these channels as their remedies for financial support. The legal officer at Uganda National Health Consumers’ Organization Talibita Moses advised govt to impose more taxes on cigarettes, beer, old vehicles and other luxurious things than imposing heavy taxes on necessities.

    Uganda projects domestic revenue totaling to UGX. 15,547 billion, of which UGX.15,130 billion is tax revenue and UGX.418 billion is non tax revenue, which amounts to about 53% of the total resource envelope which has been estimated at UGX.29.274 trillion to finance the budget.

     

    Tax Activists Still Warn Against Tax Exemptions To Investors

    The programme manager Action Aid Uganda Fred Kawooya cautioned govt on the continued tax exemption to foreign investors saying this greatly hurts the economy.

    Kawooya said, “ministerial powers to issue tax exemptions to investors are too much and need to be transferred from the minister to parliament which can do necessary research and verify who qualifies for tax exemption and who doesn’t.”

    Uganda has for long been issuing 25 years tax exemption to investors which economists say, this puts a burden on the economy and on other loyal tax payers.

     

     By Mboowa Nathan 

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    CRIME

    What Killed Simbamanyo Tycoon Kamya? How Top Lawyer Tried To Use Justice Byabakama’s Electoral Commission Deal To Save His Empire…

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    In one of the meetings where the agenda was to strategise on how to save the business empire of the late Peter Kamya, the proprietor of Simbamanyo Estate limited, one of his friends, who is also a seasoned commercial lawyer proposed a multibillion Electoral Commission deal which he was very sure would save the fallen tycoon’s empire.

    Multiple credible sources have revealed to the mighty Grapevine that this happened in 2018 when Equity bank had started threatening to auction Kamya’s properties which he used as security when securing a loan.

    The buildings were Ssimbamanyo House behind Central Police Station in Kampala city and Afrique Suites situated in Mutungo.

    Kamya, who is a brother-in-law to former deputy Prime Minister Muganwa Kajura allowed one of his senior lawyers to negotiate the deal which involved looking for a new home for the Electoral Commission.

    “The lawyer’s idea was for Kamya to rent the entire building to the Electoral Commission and the money collected as rent be used to service the loan which the bank was very comfortable with but out of the blue, when the deal was almost concluded, the old man changed his mind claiming that his friend was working with the bank to impoverish him and that’s how the deal flopped,” a source said.

    He added that the deal was waiting for the greenlight from president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who was a good friend to Kamya.

    The source added that even the Ministry of Gender was ready to shift to another building.

    Another source said that the Electoral Commission was giving Kamya a big deal compared to what he was receiving from the Ministry of Gender and within 3 to 4 years, the bank’s loan would be fully paid.

    The source said that Kamya changed his mind after getting another opinion from another shrewd young city lawyer who convinced him that the loan he got from Equity bank was not favourable and it can be challenged in Court.

    Sources said that when the bank learnt about Kamya’s plan to challenge them in court, they hastily auctioned both securities to controversial city businessman Sudhir Ruperelia’s Meera Investments Limited and Ronald Luwangula’s Luwaluwa Investments Limited, a move that frustrated Kamya’s entire plan to save his empire.

    He tried to save his empire through courts of law by filing an application seeking a temporary injuction stopping the selling of the said property but he lost the application with costs.

    He further petitioned president Museveni to save his empire arguing that it was illegally sold.

    Unfortunately, after making wide consultations, especially from the Attorney General and Bank of Uganda, the big man advised Kamya to challenge the sale of his properties in courts of law.

    He explained to him that he has no alternative to save him since he was advised that his properties were legally sold.

    Without losing hope, Kamya instructed his new lawyers led by Fred Muwema to institute a suit in the High Court Commercial Division against Crane Bank, Meera Investment Limited, Luwaluwa Investment, and lawyers of Katende Ssempebwa Company Advocates were also joined in the suit.

    The matter was allocated to Justice Stephen Mubiru, the head of the Division.

    Kamya hired Kihika Byenkya and Company Advocates to join his legal team which successfully secured an order for discovery against the respondents.

    Justice Mubiru ordered the respondents to allow the petitioner to inspect their email exchange, bank accounts and phone call logs which were made in the period when his properties were sold, an order which raised dust at the commercial court.

    Lawyers from Katende Ssempebwa Advocates petitioned Justice Rubby Opio Aweri, the Chief Inspector of Courts claiming that justice Mubiru was biased and he has to be investigated over the matter.

    He was ordered to refer the entire Ssimbamanyo file to justice Opio which Mubiru refused to do.

    Mubiru insisted that Justice Opio didn’t have powers to ask for the said file from him and guided that the matter has to proceed but lawyers challenged his action at the Court of Appeal.

    In October 2022, Justice Cheborion Barishaki of the Court of Appeal issued an order stopping Justice Mubiru from proceeding with the matter until three justices of the Court of Appeal determine the respondent’s grievances.

    Sources who have been close to Kamya revealed that Justice Cheborion’s ruling shocked Kamya and from that time, his life changed and it worsened last month and was rushed to Nairobi where he died on Friday morning.

    Sources said that other Simbamanyo Directors are set to continue with the legal fight to rescue their empire.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    MY MONEY

    Minister Betty Among Successfully Kicks Byarugaba Out Of NSSF; Patrick Ayota Eats Big, Replaces Former Boss…

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    Minister Amongi (L) and former NSSF boss Richard Byarugaba (inset L) and his successor Patrick Ayota (inset R)

    Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Betty Among has succeeded in kicking out National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Director Richard Byarugaba.

    According to a July 22 letter, Betty Amongi, the co-political overseer of the Fund with Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija, noted that under the Public Service Standing Order and NSSF Human Resource Policy, Mr. Byarugaba should have automatically retired on clocking 60 years.

    “You have, however, not officially retired although, by law, your retirement is mandatory and automatic upon attainment of the retirement age of 60 years,” Amongi wrote to Byarugaba.

    She further warned that all actions he takes now, on behalf of the Fund are not protected by any law and can be challenged.

    “This is dangerous for the operations of the Fund and I cannot continue to put the Fund at risk without addressing the matter.”

    The Chairman NSSF Board of Directors, Patrick Ocailap also released a letter appointing Patrick Ayota as Deputy Managing Director.

    “In accordance with Section 39 and 40 of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Act (Cap222), as amended, the Board of Directors submitted its recommendations to the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development (the Minister) for the appointment of a Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director,” the letter read.

    “This is to inform NSSF members, stakeholders and the public as follows; Patrick Ayota has been appointed Deputy Managing Director for five-year period with effect from 30th November 2022.”

    Ocailap added that the processes leading to the appointment of the Managing Director have taken longer.

    “In the interim, the Deputy Managing Director will caretake this office until these processes are concluded.”

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    CRIME

    Be Forward Company Directors On Run Over Fraud; Clients Cry Foul After Losing Billions…

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    Be Forward company Managing Director in hot soup over fraud.

    Police in Jinja has in custody the managing director, Caroline Nampeera and her accountant, Annet Nagawa of Be Forward company, a Japanese car importer over fraud.

    This comes after a number of customers decided to ambush the company after losing billions of money to the company.

    Steve Manyire, a client who reported the issue that he has lost over Shs.250 million.

    Manyire noted that he paid money for two trucks and a Range Rover that he says have not been delivered by the company.

    “They have received almost a million US Dollars but none of the people who are complaining has received their cars,” he revealed.

    Manyire insisted that this is an organised fraud and advised would be customers not to pay their money.

    Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango however confirmed the arrest of the two people adding that the directors are currently on the run.

    “The three directors are currently on the run, we are looking for them. We are currently investigating a case of obtaining money by false pretence,” Onyango said.

    He revealed that Mr.Nkeera, one of the directors is said to hiding in the United States while others are on a run.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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