In a bold move towards combating corruption, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has recently terminated the employment of 80 of its staff members. While the exact timeframe in which these dismissals occurred remains undisclosed, the decision has received praise from lawmakers and underscores URA’s commitment to eradicating corruption within its ranks.
The announcement came to light during a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Planning, and Economic Development. The committee was gathering information as part of a familiarization tour of URA’s regional facilities, where they learned of the staff terminations. Legislators were quick to commend URA for its decisive action against corruption, emphasizing the importance of such measures in addressing one of Uganda’s persistent challenges.
Avur Jane Pacuto, the Vice Chairperson of the committee, expressed her support, stating, “The 80 staff that you have so far sent away is a good lesson. Do not relent. One of the aspects pulling down this country is corruption; therefore, there is a need to commend you for fighting the vice.”
During the meeting, the committee discussed the significance of URA’s efforts in the fight against corruption and its impact on the country’s development. The legislators applauded the tax body for its commitment to tackling this issue head-on.
The committee’s tour of various URA stations, which commenced on Tuesday, aimed to provide members with a better understanding and appreciation of the authority’s operations. Stations visited included the One-Stop Border Posts of Malaba, Busia, Lwakhakha, Mutukula, Katuna, Mirama Hills, and the Masaka offices. Additionally, the MPs visited large taxpayers, such as Nile breweries in Jinja.
URA’s Commissioner General, John Musinguzi, expressed gratitude to the Parliament for their continuous support. He outlined some of the strategies being implemented by the authority to enhance revenue mobilization.
These strategies include closing revenue leakages, addressing corruption more aggressively, introducing performance management systems, and improving overall efficiency. Musinguzi also highlighted innovations aimed at simplifying the customer’s journey, such as the ability to pay taxes using USSD codes.
Furthermore, Musinguzi revealed the introduction of a new performance management system that would reward high-performing employees and offer support to those struggling to meet their targets. He emphasized URA’s commitment to ensuring that all staff members are aligned with the authority’s objectives.
Dr. Keefa Kiwanuka, the Committee Chairperson, expressed a desire for further engagement to explore ways in which Parliament could better support URA, particularly in the realm of rental tax performance.
URA’s firm stance against corruption and its proactive measures to enhance revenue collection reflect its dedication to advancing Uganda’s economic growth and development. The actions taken serve as a reminder of the critical role that governmental agencies play in upholding transparency and accountability in public service.