Under the declaration of taxes, deliberate refusal to pay taxes, the continuous existence of ghosts on payroll, poor utility user fees collection, and payment of non-performing civil servants are among the factors leading to corruption.
Hon. Betty Kamya, the Inspector General of Government (IGG), told Journalists at the Uganda Media Centre that close to Shs10Tn is lost through corruption annually.
“Some URA officials are conniving with taxpayers to help the latter either dodge or pay few taxes this has continuously led to low tax collections by the tx body,” said Kamya
Between 2006 and 2015, Uganda lost $6.6Bn (Shs24.9Tn) through Trade Misinvoicing (under and over declaration of taxes) alone, according to the 2018 Global Financial Integrity (GFI) Scooping Study on Illicit Financial Flows.
This implies that Shs2.4tn was lost annually.
Of the Shs24.9tn loss, Shs18.5Tn was from potential over and under-invoicing of imports like; worn clothing, salt, stone, and cereals, amounted to $4.9Bn (Shs18.5Tn) while $1.7Bn (Shs6.4Tn) was lost through exports like; grains, seeds, and fruits.
URA has registered shortfalls, in the last two consecutive financial years. In FY2020/21 collected Shs19.4Tn out of the target of Shs21.3tn. In the subsequent FY2021/22, URA collected Shs21.7Tn out of the target Sha22.42tn.
Kamya told reporters that the only way to defeat corruption is after the public joins the fight jealously.
“This is because corruption affects the public more that’s why they need to lead the fight,” she said
Uganda will on Friday, December 9, join the international community to commemorate international anti-corruption day.
The National Celebrations will be held in the Ibanda district, at Ibanda integrated primary school grounds under the theme “citizens must own the war to eliminate corruption. It’s their war.”
President Museveni is expected as the Guest of Honor.
Rose Lilly Akello, the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity explained why they have chosen Ibanda.
The minister also stated that the reason Ibanda district was considered to host the commemoration is that it was rated the best-performing local government in service delivery according to 2021 appraisals.
The day, which was designed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003, aims at global observance to promote awareness about corruption, its dangers, and how to prevent and combat it.
“His Excellency the president of the Republic of Uganda was invited as the chief guest but due to earlier scheduled engagements, has delegated Hon. Norbert Mao, the minister of constitutional affairs to grace the commemoration,” Akello said
Other expected outcomes include improved citizen participation in anti-corruption initiatives, improved transparency, and accountability in the delivery of public services, and improved service delivery among others.
Earlier today, the inspector general of Government revealed that the Government through its numerous anti-corruption agencies has recovered over Ugx100 billion in a year.
According to Hon. Akello, the anti-corruption agencies include the Inspectorate of Government (IG), the office of the Auditor General, the Accountant General’s Office (AGO), and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
Others include the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), the State House Anti-corruption Unit (SHACU), and Internal Security Organization (ISO) including the state house health monitoring unit and Financial Intelligence Authority among others.
IG Kamya said the government is committed to fighting corruption and has put in place the required legal framework and institutions to fight against corruption.
Speaking at the presser, Israel Ochwo, the Deputy Head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) said that they have developed plans to bring the citizenry on board to effectively curb corruption.
Ochwo said the reason of for involving citizens is because so many corruption incidents go unnoticed.
“We intend to effectively involve the citizens in the fight of corruption in all parts of the country because there are numerous corruption incidents which go unobserved,” Ochwo said.
He added that the Unit will start by providing citizens with information on how corruption manifests, information on the government projects that have been implemented and what their role is as citizens, and the offices they can run to if any corruption cases have been observed.