Madam Allen Kagina, I wish to thank you for the efforts at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) since 1992, which saw you rise to ranks of Commissioner General in 2004. You are known as a hands – on Manager who has been able to transform the tax body into a more effective organization. You are credited for cleaning the image of URA. You are amiable, eloquent and cerebral, a highly rated manager internationally.
The question raised is why has your organization miss handled the Pioneer Buses issue? Madam, you must have been old enough when NRM captured power in 1986. There were UTC and People’s bus companies, which due to miss management ceased to exist. There were patriotic Ugandans who were concerned with public transport given the exploitation by ‘matatu’ operators, over time; they were able to get the deal through of having Pioneer buses on Uganda roads. You ought to be aware that these people did not have ready cash to pay for the buses, but got involved with a number of financial institutions and the 100 buses were delivered. We are informed that there were issues that KCCA and other authorities were supposed to see sorted to see to the effective operations of these buses. Instead, these issues were not handled as expected, meaning that shortcomings were expected in the business. However, it is also true that the company tried its level best to meet the obligation of transporting people, many of whom have since suffered your mis-advised action of having them off the road over the alleged shs 8bn tax obligation.
Madam Kagina, you should realize the gravity of your impunity to the people of Uganda. Much as you are in-charge of the tax body, deals like that of Pioneer Buses are very crucial for the future of the backward and poverty ridden Uganda, where you are Commissioner General. The other day, when President Museveni took a sack of shs 250m to Kamuli, it was news to the whole world. What you as an executive is doing to Pioneer buses will in the future make it impossible to get such consignments on such credit terms. What do you think about the banks which advanced the shareholders money? We need to be more reasonable in the decisions we make. Many are not simply routine; we have to exercise a lot of care. Madam, while you enjoy the comfort of your executive office, with millions in salary and allowances, you are simply unconcerned about that peasant who was saving by travelling using the Pioneer Buses, who has to pay in one route the amount that Pioneer buses would have charged the two routes! You are not bothered about the pay of the 200 or so drivers who were having sure daily living by driving the buses. You are not concerned about the 200 or so staff that were employed as stewards by the bus company.
It is wrong to tag the proposed auctioning of the buses to the shs 8 bn owed in Government taxes. The buses I wish to inform you were having tax revenue to Government due to fuel consumed, whatever the employees buy there is tax. What failed you as the tax body to see some party ensure that monies earned by the company were well handled with the basic objective as recovering the monies due to those who financed the deal?
I am made to imagine that may be the organization is influenced by the company competitors such that they place Pioneer on the wall which decision has proved very illogical, and the best it is reversed. It does not make any economic sense for URA to keep Pioneer buses parked as people suffer to get transport as may be over 500 people are denied of income including tax lost if the buses were burning fuel daily. The tax body should stop giving the excuse of the shs 8bn owed to it by the company. Just have the buses on road and see that they met the liability to pay the suppliers or else, the tax body in claiming shs 8bn may make Ugandans pay over shs 100bn as liability due to these buses.
My opinion is that Madam Kagina if you cannot see Pioneer Buses back to raod as soon as possible, kindly resign.
Thank you very much.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka