President Yoweri Museveni fired Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General, Doris Akol over corruption and what has been described as ‘deal making.’
According to a State House source privy to this matter, Museveni has a 20 page dossier that pins Akol and other top URA officials who have been pinned in bribery and corruption scandals.
The dossier also pins judicial officials who are said to have received a $5 million dollar bribe from telecommunications giant, MTN Uganda.
Around two years ago, URA dragged MTN to court over taxes amounting to $89.6 million and another $528,000, which according to URA, accrued from under-declaration of earnings on the lucrative Mobile Money, and information technology services provided to MTN Uganda between December 2015 and February 2016 by its mother company MTN Sea Shared Services (MTN SSS) Ltd.
In the end, MTN paid just a small fraction of the money.
This dented Akol’s CV in front of Museveni.
In the dossier, prepared by Internal Security Organization (ISO) after thorough Investigations, Akol is accused of covering for top tax paying companies, MTN Uganda, Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) and Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL), who were undervaluing their tax returns.
Yes, for years MTN, NBL and UBL have been some of the biggest tax payers in the country with a total of over Shs700 billion annually.
But it could or rather should be much more, according to intel in Museveni’s possession.
Last year Airtel Uganda was awarded Uganda’s largest Tax Payer and recognised for their compliance in remitting taxes to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
The announcement was made during the Uganda Revenue Authority 14TH Taxpayers Appreciation Awards – 2019.
Airtel Uganda paid UGX136 billion in the financial year 2018/19.
“Airtel has contributed over UGX136 billion in the financial year 2018-19 making it the biggest contributor of income tax in the last financial year,” a statement from Uganda Revenue Authority read in part.
This website understands MTN Uganda should have paid much more tax than the Shs136 billion Airtel paid.
A secret audit carried out by ISO and a group of donors told Museveni that MTN Uganda should have paid close to Shs500 billion.
An audit also established the breweries have also been under declaring and with Akol’s protection.
On Wednesday, the president addressed a special cabinet session and according to Mulengera News, he was clearly in a very belligerent mood and whoever attended left State House convinced that the days of Madam Doris Akol, and those of Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, her supervisor, weren’t going to be many.
In that cabinet meeting, specially called to finalize the 2020/21 budget estimates, the President lost his cool and several times told off Kasaijja for failing to give effective leadership to the tax sector. “I know the economy may not be doing very well but I also keep getting intelligence reports that there are leakages in tax administration which you are failing to resolve as Minister,” Museveni furiously told off Kasaijja. In the same meeting, the big man from Rwakitura equally had no kind words for PSST Keith Muhakanizi.
Saying he had tolerated underperformance for too long, Museveni repeatedly talked about his revenue mobilization strategy not being realized because of inept political leadership by Kasaija at the Finance Ministry. In attendance were representatives of URA top management who understandably didn’t include Akol because she still was undergoing mandatory quarantine having recently returned from one of the high-risk countries. In the end, a furious Museveni rejected everything Kasaija had presented for 2020/21 budget estimates for the new budget because he wasn’t satisfied with the revenue projections that were being reflected.
Ironically, this was the 4th time Museveni (who ideally is the Finance Minister who only delegates Kasaijja) was throwing out the Finance Minister’s revenue mobilization proposals for the upcoming FY. He made it clear Kasaijja had one more last chance to redeem himself or face the music-and that is showing up tomorrow for the Monday Cabinet meeting with an updated version of the same document. “We all left the Wednesday special cabinet meeting satisfied that some major pronouncements were coming and the big man was to justify all his decisions on underperformance of the sector regarding revenue mobilization,” says a credible Cabinet source.
Earlier today, Akol sent a farewell letter to staff.
Museveni is said to have been angered by her remarks “The struggle to liberate Uganda continues” in the internal memo.
Museveni is quoted as saying: “Doesn’t this one know where Tumukunde (Henry) is? If I were her, I would go to the village and keep quiet.”