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Kampala- The Ministry of Education has given training institutions up to the end of this year to stop training their students in business, technical and vocational certificate courses for one year.
The Minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni, yesterday said all students who enroll for certificate programmes will now be taking two years unlike the one-year most institutions had adopted.

“All post Ordinary Level certificate programmes in Business technical, vocational and education training sub-sector must take a teaching duration of two years and be assessed nationally,” Ms Museveni said at the release of May/June 2017 examinations results for certificate and diploma programmes in technical, business and specialised institutions on Wednesday.
She also ordered that admission to universities and tertiary institutions be completed by end of June every year to allow students report to their respective institutions on time and give room for parents to organise resources for their children.

Out of 6,730 candidates who registered for the papers, 324 did not turn up. Mr Onesmus Oyesigye, Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board executive secretary, attributed the absenteeism to students who fail to complete their studies because of working.
The examinations tested competencies in technical diploma, business diploma and certificate and physical, and biological diploma and certificate programmes.
The number of candidates who sat the programmes declined from 8,111 who registered in 2013 to 6,730 this year.

Why the decline?
“There is a small decline in number for mainly business certificate programmes because of advocacy of promoting science education. The candidates exhibited good performance in physical and biological sciences,” Mr Oyesige said.
The board reported a slight improvement in performance from 71 per cent in 2016 to 71.4 per cent in 2017.

Ministry officials could not explain why some institutions are offering one-year courses.

The board’s chairperson, Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, said they need more funds to enable them implement their assessment on a competence-based curriculum.

1 week 3 days ago

There were deadly clashes between opposition political party, the Democratic Party and the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party supporters in Lwengo district on Tuesday leaving several people injured. 

Trouble started after the DP supporters launched the anti-presidential age limit removal campaign codenamed 'Togikwatako' in Lwengo district.

As part of their campaign, the DP members led by Hakim Kizza, a youth leader held a consultative meeting in Kikenene village in Kisekka sub-county where they sensitized residents about the dangers of scrapping article 102(b) of the constitution, which restricts the president's age to be between 35 and 75 years.

NRM supporters arresting Hakim Kizza, one of the DP youths 

The campaign is in response to the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017 that was laid in parliament by the Igara West Member of Parliament Raphael Magyezi seeking to amend the article to scrap the presidential age limit. 

The bill has met stiff resistance from politicians across the political divide, civil society activists and ordinary residents. As a result, DP members in Lwengo have started holding sensitisation meetings to mobilise residents to reject the bill.

Kizza says they were sensitizing residents to reject the bill when a group of NRM members led by Musa Kalangwa, the bodyguard of the Bukoto South MP Muhammad Muyanja Mbabaali stormed their meeting venue and started clobbering them.

He says the attackers used electric cables to clobber them, injuring several people seriously. Kizza says one of their colleagues he identifies as Tony Nsibuka sustained a serious injury on the eye following an attack by Kalangwa. Musa Kalangwa says they were forced to beat the DP members because they are not known in the area.

After attacking the DP members, the NRM youths apprehended them and led them to the police station. Mbabaali, who is accused of inciting the NRM party members to attack the DP meeting hasn't yet commented as he couldn't be reached.
Donald Muhwezi, the Lwengo district police commander simply looked on as the clashes went on, saying he wasn't aware of the DP meeting. He refused to explain why police just looked on instead of stopping the clashes.
As the clash was going on, David Mafabi, the private secretary of the president on political affairs was meeting key officials and NRM leaders from greater Masaka region at Hotel Brovad Masaka to promote the presidential age limit bill. 

The participants included resident district commissioners from greater Masaka region, district internal security officers (DISOs) and NRM party leaders.

1 week 3 days ago

Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi wants the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee of parliament reconstituted, to get rid of MPs opposed to the Constitution Amendment Bill (No 2) 2017.

Magyezi says several members of this committee, mostly from the opposition, have openly expressed bias towards his bill that seeks to amend Article 102 (b) of the Constitution to remove the age cap for presidential candidates.

The bill, tabled before parliament last week, has attracted controversy, with the opposition accusing the NRM of hatching a life presidency for their party chairman, Gen Yoweri Museveni.  

Museveni will be 76 years old in 2021 and ineligible to stand for the country’s top job.

Raphael Magyezi

Addressing the media at parliament today, Magyezi said opposition and some NRM MPs are biased and should be replaced with neutral ones.

He also accused the committee leadership, led by Jacob Oboth Oboth (West Budama South), of curtailing one of his members, Jackson Kafuuzi (Kyaka South), from contributing during committee sittings.

“If you say Hon Kafuuzi cannot be an active participant of the committee, then I have a right to express my reservation of those members who have come out in the public to oppose the bill. If these members continue to express their reservations on my bill openly, then they should withdraw from the committee or let the committee be reconstituted for the objectivity of the process,” Magyezi said.

He added: “Fair hearing demands that the committee to which I am going to appear must portray its independence, neutrality and objectivity without bias”.

Last week, Oboth announced that Kafuuzi will not be allowed to discuss and vote on the bill, on grounds that he was one of its seconders when Magyezi tabled it in parliament.

He further asked the 23 legislators on the committee to put aside their personal opinions of the bill and deliberate and hear views from different stakeholders wholesomely.

However, legislators such as Medard Lubega Ssegona (Busiro East), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East), Monica Amoding (Kumi Woman) and Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda (Kira Municipality) have openly bashed the Magyezi bill, vowing to frustrate it during the committee meetings.

SHS 715m budget

The committee has drafted a Shs 715 million budget to conduct public hearings on this bill.

According to the proposed budget estimations, the MPs will spend Shs 227 million on internal field trip travels, Shs 400 million on international travels and Shs 88 million for a retreat to draft the committee report.

The committee has scheduled consultative meetings in seven districts in five sub-regions of North, East, West, Central and West Nile.

For each region, the committee will spend Shs 45.5 million in 10 days to cater for per diem for five MPs, three staff, three police officers, one driver, fuel and contingency.

The committee has earmarked three countries for benchmarking and will spend Shs 133.3 million to travel to each them.

Under the Shs 88 million budget for the retreat, the 23-man committee will meet for three days for full board accommodation. There will be transport refund of Shs 100,000 per day and contingency of Shs 2 million.

1 week 3 days ago

Preliminary findings of the ongoing inquiry into land matters have revealed “a worrying trend” of highly placed
individuals colluding to rob ordinary Ugandans of their land, the commission chair said on Tuesday.

Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire said the commission’s investigations have established a disturbing relationship between government officials, security personnel and politicians ganging up to evict locals from their land.

“This situation is critical and is a problem as far as customary land ownership is concerned,” Bamugemereire said yesterday at Boma hotel in Gulu municipality as the commission kicked off public hearings in the Acholi sub-region.

“In other districts, we observed that government officials, security agents and politicians are ganging up [on locals] and unlawfully evicting entire communities to create societies that are homeless,” she said.

Lands minister Betty Amongi (L) with Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire during the launch of the inquiry earlier this year 

Bamugemereire said information obtained from public hearings and investigations over the last six months majorly in Mubende, Wakiso, Masaka, Hoima and Jinja districts, shows that the situation in land management, registration and acquisition is worrying.

“We have also found that there is heavy encroachment in some places and depletion of protected areas such as forests, wetlands, and wildlife reserves. This encroachment is done with impunity and total disregard of the law and future of our country and we find this very worrying,” she said.

In those areas, she said, they have established cases of fraud in land registration including multiple titling, forgeries of letters of administration and court orders to illegally obtain registration, on top of outright forgeries of registration particulars.

The registration of one’s name onto a title should be conclusive evidence of their ownership of land in question. However, Bamugemereire said where multiple titling has occurred and outright fraud discovered, the existing system of registration will be rendered irrelevant.


Yesterday, the commission started their sessions by hearing from some of Acholi’s leaders. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, Gulu LC-V chairman; Francis Barabanawe, the municipal town clerk; retired Supreme court Justice Galdino Okello, Richard Santo Apiire and Rwot Kweri [clan leader] of Atiak made presentations.

Apiire said land wrangling has spread throughout post-conflict Acholi as a result of more refugees pouring into the country from South Sudan.

“The war in Sudan didn’t start the black people in the southern part of Sudan had to flee and when they fled, we accommodated them in the various parts of Acholi,” Apiire said.

“But they have remained refugees. One man was registered as a refugee in Adjumani refugee camp. He started claiming land and unfortunately sold this land to Uganda Revenue Authority at a price of about Shs 600 million. We have objected to this and told URA aliens don’t own land.”

In the Acholi sub-region, land is predominantly under customary ownership. The commission of inquiry plans to traverse the entire Acholi land which comprises of Gulu, Nwoya, Omoro, Agago, Amuru and Pader districts.

After two decades of armed conflict between the government and LRA rebels, people returned to their homes to find most land boundaries had either been destroyed or obscured by overgrown vegetation. Many elders who knew the history had also died, resulting in disputes between families, clans and individuals.

Acting Aswa regional police commander, Osteen Wilber Wanyama, said majority of crimes reported to the police are land-related.

“In terms of crime categorization, 80 per cent of the crimes that we handle are land-related. The commonest areas of crime here are mainly criminal trespass, malicious damage [of property] and assaults over land,” Wanyama said.


1 week 4 days ago

Ruling party MPs sharply opposed to the Raphael Magyezi constitutional amendment bill have said they were approached and promised cash if they dropped their opposition to the draft legislation.

They were also reportedly promised good roads, electricity, clean water and refurbished health facilities in their constituencies.

In separate interviews with The Observer yesterday, several ‘rebel’ NRM MPs said presidential emissaries have approached them and urged them to soften their hardline stance to the amendment, which seeks to lift age limits for qualified presidential candidates and presumably allow President Museveni seek re-election in 2021 when he will be well above the 75-year upper age limit.

According to the MPs interviewed, President Museveni has reportedly telephoned and talked to some while others have been approached by State House aides, NRM parliamentarians such as Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among and Security minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.

NRM MPs such as Barnabas Tinkansiimire and Sam Lyomoki are opposed to the amendment 

There are 10 NRM MPs loudly opposed to the Magyezi amendment; including Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Monicah Amoding (Kumi Woman), Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West), Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (Kassanda South) and Felix Okot Ogong (Dokolo South).

Others are Sam Lyomoki (Workers), Louis Mbwatekamwa Gaffa (Kasambya), John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya), Alex Ruhunda (Fort Portal Municipality) and Sylvia Rwabogo (Kabarole Woman).

Interviewed yesterday, Oshabe confirmed he has repeatedly been approached by Museveni’s emissaries but declined to meet the head of state. Oshabe tried last month but failed to table his own private member’s bill calling for a Constitutional Review Commission.

“I was first approached by Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, he told me that I risked being isolated by the party if I continued associating myself with the ‘rebel’ MPs. He then told me that the president wanted to meet me because he knows that I am one of his own,” Oshabe said.

The Observer couldn’t independently confirm Oshabe’s claims. We couldn’t reach Gen Tumukunde on his known mobile telephone lines.

Oshabe said he was later approached by Among and Ibanda North MP Maj Guma Gumisiriza. Among and Gumisiriza reportedly told Oshabe that the president had agreed to take power to his Kassanda South constituency.

“Of course I know that is a lie because this is a promise they have been making since 2006. Yes, we need electricity but if they have to extend power to my constituency, they don’t need to first take me to meet the president or call me,” Oshabe said.

“It must not be a trade-off; they should handle that with the Rural Electrification Agency,” Oshabe added.

Interviewed yesterday, Among confirmed approaching the ‘rebel’ MPs but denied doing so on behalf of the president.

“I don’t need to be assigned by anyone; it is out of my own conviction,” the former FDC deputy treasurer said.

Moments before this writer interviewed her; she was over-heard relaying a message to Oshabe, which she claimed was from the president.

“It is the same story they have been telling me. Her story is not any different from what Gen Tumukunde tells me,” Oshabe told this writer moments later.

Owing to his harsh criticism of government business in parliament, Busia municipality MP Godfrey Macho was mistakenly included on the ‘rebels’ list and fluked an opportunity to meet his party chairman in September while the likes of Nambeshe declined.

“I was among the very first people that Museveni summoned but I turned down his invitation,” Nambeshe said on October 10.

Nambeshe also tried and failed to table a constitutional amendment bill last month. In his private member’s bill, he proposed that MPs appointed ministers should vacate their seats.

“He has been summoning us in groups of three, but I refused to go and the others went,” the former seminarian added.

With this approach faltering, the president has reportedly changed tack. He has now invited a bigger group of NRM MPs opposed to the Magyezi bill.

“We had resolved as a group that wherever he calls anyone of us, we expose everything because he can use it to blackmail us,” Tinkasiimire said.

The president reportedly wants to meet the ‘rebel’ MPs to discuss contents of their October 4 letter written to him as party chairman.

“He has summoned us in his capacity as NRM party chairman using our letter. He has proposed that we meet at a private place but we are saying no; the venue should be open and easily accessible to the media,” Nambeshe said.

On Independence day, the group travelled  to Oshabe’s constituency where police broke up their planned rally against the amendment. After their botched rally, the group discussed Museveni’s meeting that had been planned for yesterday (October 10).

“We have asked him [president] that the meeting must not be in a secret place; it must be during the day and on time,” Tinkasiimire said.

The group has prepared a memorandum they will read before the president and have listed more demands to those contained in their October 4 letter.

In their October letter, the group asked the president to consider setting in motion a planned democratic and transparent transition and succession process within NRM and the presidency.

They urged the president to dis- associate himself from what they called a divisive, opportunistic and isolationist constitutional amendment process.

According to the MPs, others have been promised at least 25km of tarmac roads while some are to get piped water and better- equipped health facilities if they support Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi’s bill.

This was in addition to a cash offer of Shs 130 million to capitalise savings and credit cooperative societies (Saccos) in their constituencies plus an additional fund to finance women and youth projects.

Before the September 27 fracas in parliament that saw the presidential guard Special Forces Command soldiers violently eject MPs opposed to the amendment out of the House, Museveni had met some ‘rebel’ MPs but to his surprise, some like Mbwatekamwa remained firm in their opposition to the amendment.

The Kasambya MP is currently nursing a fractured arm he sustained during the fracas. He is understood to have gone to the meeting with Amoding who also remains opposed to the amendment.

Interviewed for comment, senior presidential press secretary Don Innocent Wanyama said he was not aware the president planned to meet the NRM MPs.

“I have looked at the president’s official programme and I have not seen anywhere where it is indicated that he is going to meet ‘rebel’ MPs. So, I can’t comment on things I am not aware of,” Wanyama said.


1 week 4 days ago

Newly appointed deputy Chief justice, Alfonse Chigamoi Owiny-Dollo, starts his tenure as leader of the Constitutional court with a petition on the politically charged matter of presidential age limits.

It is the sort of petition on which reputations are made: the president is ineligible to run for office in 2021 when his present term ends, but he appears to have given tacit approval to his supporters to scrap the constitutional age limits in the face of stiff and growing country-wide opposition.

By yesterday, parliament had not issued an official response to a letter from the petitioner’s lawyers, which stated that MPs cannot continue debating the proposal to scrap age caps for presidential candidates until court rules on it.

Justice Owiny-Dollo (L)with President Museveni after swearing in as deputy chief justice at State House recently

Jacob Oboth-Oboth, chairman of the parliamentary committee now reviewing the so-called age limits bill, said on Tuesday: “I cannot comment on the matter because that letter wasn’t addressed to me.”

How Owiny-Dollo handles the matter scheduled for preliminary hearings today will test his promise to reform the Constitutional court whose reputation has been battered under Justice Steven Kavuma who retired last month.

Kavuma was criticized by the law fraternity, civil society and others for repeatedly handing down rulings which appeared to always protect the regime’s interests.

The application before Owiny-Dollo is about enforcing a legal standard, which bars public discussion of matters in court.

His ruling will tell whether parliament can legally, continue considering the hotly contested Raphael Magyezi bill to remove Article 102(b) of the constitution. The provision sets out the 35 and 75-year age limits for persons intending to run for president.

Benjamin Alipanga’s lawyers last week wrote to Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga complaininng that the ongoing debate in parliament about the intended amendment of Article 102(b) is in contempt of court.

“We are instructed to categorically state that parliament cannot and shouldn’t debate a matter that is currently pending before the Constitutional court as it would be in contempt of court and offending rule 64 of the rules of procedure of parliament 2012,” the lawyers wrote.

MP Raphael Magyezi presenting his bill for the first reading

Three years ago, Alipanga filed a constitutional petition challenging a resolution of the ruling party’s parliamentary caucus to endorse President Museveni as NRM’s sole candidate in the 2016 presidential elections.

Alipanga said the National Resistance Movement party was plotting, among others, to amend articles 102, 105 and 107 of the Constitution and eliminate the presidential age cap for the sole benefit of Museveni, something he said is “unconstitutional”.

His fears came true in the Raphael Magyezi bill, introduced against the backdrop of unprecedented parliamentary and countrywide protests.

The bill was read for the first time on September 27 after soldiers from the presidential guard, SFC, stormed the main chamber of parliament and violently removed opposition MPs. It is now before the Oboth-Oboth committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

Interviewed yesterday, parliament’s principal information officer Kassim Nsimbe declined to comment because parliament is in recess. He referred this reporter to the office of the clerk, Jane Kibirige, who is reportedly abroad.

In his 2014 petition, Alipanga also argued that Museveni, who was 71 years then, didn’t qualify to stand for the 2016 presidential elections because he wouldn’t be able to serve out a full term of five years. He argued that by the next election in 2021 Museveni would have clocked 75 years.

“That I’m aware that the ... resolution [of the caucus] goes against the letter and spirit of the constitution of the republic of Uganda by denying other bona fide members of the first respondent [NRM] from competing for positions of leadership at the level of the highest office of the presidency of this country,” Alipanga said.

Chief Opposition whip Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, who also sits on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, this week told The Observer that parliament’s rules of procedure give the speaker of parliament jurisdiction to advise parliament on whether issues that are before court can be debated or not.

Ssemujju cited an August, 2017 incident when deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah stopped a proposed parliamentary inquiry into Bank of Uganda in relation to the circumstances leading to the closure of Crane bank.

Oulanyah pointed out that the matter was in court, and that discussing it would go against the sub-judice rule.
Ssemujju wasn’t pleased with Oboth-Oboth’s explanation that the letter wasn’t written to him.

He said that as a lawyer, the West Budama South legislator is well placed to guide other committee members on the way forward.

“The chairman cannot hide his head in the sand; he is not an ordinary person, he is a lawyer who should be in the know of what it means to discuss matters that are before court,” Ssemujju said.

1 week 4 days ago

A member of NRM’s Central Executive Committee, the top most party decision-making organ, has joined Ugandans asking President Museveni to take heed of public opposition to his ruling party’s push to remove presidential age limits.

Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza, a senior commander in the bush war, which brought Museveni to power in 1986, NRM vice chairman representing western Uganda, member of the army’s historical high command, and presently Uganda’s ambassador to strife-torn Burundi, made his comments when he spoke to a Kampala radio on Independence day.

“The president should listen to what people are saying. He should stop pretending to be very busy. He should use this chance [to retire] now when we still love him, not to give a chance to everyone to say he is tired,” Kyaligonza said.

He was speaking on CBS radio’s prime news skit, Nze nga bwendaba (The way I see it), on Monday morning hosted by Alex Nsubuga.

Kyaligonza warned that the controversial proposal to remove Article 102(b) that sets the 35 to 75-year presidential age cap, is taking the country down a dangerous road which spells doom.

Speaking about the September 27 chaos in which opposition MPs were beaten and violently dragged out of parliament by troops from the Special Forces Command, which protects the president, the former delegate to the Constituent Assembly, said limitation clauses were deliberately written into the 1995 Constitution.

He said during the CA, they spent about four days debating the age limit proposal with amendment after amendment, especially from the government side headed by the late Colonel Sserwanga Lwanga.

“The bad thing is, it has come at a time when Museveni is also 75 years old; we have now over-personalised this debate,” Kyaligonza said.

He said they placed limiting clauses in the Constitution because of Uganda’s history with dictators who planned on clinging on as presidents for life.

“We said instead of just pushing them out by force, let’s put in place mechanisms where it’s nature that will stop somebody from standing again. But now some people think what we did was for nothing,” Kyaligonza said.

The former MP in the 6th parliament said it is wrong to legislate for one person however good they might be, because bad people might use the same window.

“Even these MPs are wrong; why should you insist on bringing a proposal that results into beatings, fighting and arresting people? Why are you forcing it on people? Why don’t you withdraw it and first get consensus?” he said.

He likened Raphael Magyezi’s private member’s bill to former president Apollo Milton Obote’s 1967 pigeonhole constitution that is said to have been single-handedly drafted by then attorney general, Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa, and forced on parliament.

“Magyezi has no magezi [intelligence]; why do you do things just to be seen? If you bring a proposal and it’s rejected, why don’t you withdraw it?” Kyaligonza said.

“If I was Magyezi, I would have used common sense to see that the issue I’m bringing is unpopular; you can’t sell it to your constituents.”

Kyaligonza criticised Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga’s handling of the September 27 session that ended in violence and ejection of opposition MPs. He said Kadaga should have adjourned business to let MPs who were continuously singing the national anthem to cool off.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

“As speaker, you can’t afford to lose your temper. When you lose your temper, you can’t debate; that’s why Oulanyah [deputy speaker] outsmarted her. When they [MPs] sang the national anthem, he listened because no one is allowed to interfere with the anthem. After, he would then say ‘order’ and they repeated the singing until he adjourned the house.”

Deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah was in charge of proceedings when the opposition first made it clear they would have none of the Magyezi bill.

The two-star general also lampooned the police and other security agencies’ un- necessary siege of parliament, which he likened to “guarding rats”.

“[Inspector General of Police Kale] Kayihura was also wrong to deploy the way he deployed at parliament. It’s true there are times when you can deploy but in that situation it was unnecessary.”

Kyaligonza is the first army general still in government to publicly oppose the lifting of age limits.

He joins former prime minister Apolo Nsibambi, former vice president Gilbert Bukenya, bishops, leaders of the Muslim community, university lecturers, ordinary Ugandans, civil society actors, among others, in calling for President Museveni to retire in 2021.

In 2015, as NRM prepared to choose senior office bearers, Kyaligonza furiously responded to an attempt by Odrek Rwabwogo, husband to the president’s daughter Patience, to unseat him as party chair for western Uganda.

After days of outraged denunciations suggesting the son-in-law was riding on his relationship with the first family to undermine founding members, the central executive committee rejected Rwabwogo’s scheme and endorsed Kyaligonza unopposed.

1 week 4 days ago
The rich may soon be compelled to pay more taxes if government agrees to the High Net Worth Individual Taxation (HNWIs) proposal by tax body, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
It is believed that on top of generating more revenue, high net worth taxation will also help to evenly distribute income among the populace. 
Godwin Denis Tumusiime, a policy analyst with URA, says the High Net Worth Individual Taxation proposal follows an observation that current taxation mainly targets the poor.
He says URA has already established a desk for high net worth taxation. 
URA is proposing taxing more the rich "There is a criteria that we follow - in that we look at those with big ranches, those that have majority shares in companies, those that are importing in a volume of goods. We also look at ownership of property and so many other elements and these are the guidelines that will help us to identify who it that we need to tax", said Tumusiime. 

Other areas being targeted for high net worth taxation include, individuals that hold majority shareholding in companies whose earnings have in the past not been taxed, farmers with high value commercial forests, animal ranches and plantations. 

The public's known rich persons are also being targeted for this tax. Importers and exporters of goods and services worth Shs 500 million per annum will also be eligible for the high net worth taxation.
Shareholders in companies with annual turnover of Shs 50 billion will also face extra tax. It is also expected that high net worth taxation will address the informality regarding taxation in the country. 

Tumusiime says the high net worth taxation will go behind the veil to appreciate transactions that are happening but are never taxed. 
"We’re undertaking this approach to make sure that, in as much we are appreciating that the rich are contributing in terms of job creation but they, as directors, they to whom profits actually come to; are also paying their worth. Because if any person is employed and they are getting their income, the rich man still tax that income and when the profits are made, that rich man gets the profit yet he is not taxed", he added.
A number of taxation experts have indicated that most personal incomes Uganda are never taxed yet it could increase the country's incomes. 

They say that there is a large gap between the tax paid on the overall earnings in the country and that the tax expected to be paid on income-generating activity is worrying. 

Income and corporate tax rates in Uganda are 30% per annum at the highest bracket with tax revenues contributing on average 12% to the GDP. 

Currently Uganda Revenue Authority has registered slightly above one million tax payers in a population of close to forty million. 
1 week 5 days ago

Resident District Commissioners in Tooro region have resolved to spearhead the presidential age limit removal campaign. 

The resolution was reached on Sunday at a meeting held in Fort Portal. The meeting at Fort Fun City Hotel was called by President Yoweri Museveni's Political Affairs private secretary, David Mafabi.

The hotel is owned by Burahya County member of parliament Margaret Muhanga, a supporter of the proposed amendment of article 102 of the constitution.

The RDCs are Stephen Asiimwe of Kabarole, Elijah Biryabarema of Kamwenge, Wilson Isingoma of Ntoroko, Godfrey Betegerize of Bundibugyo, Nyakwera Baguma of Kyegegwa and Isaac Kawonawo of Kyenjojo. 

Mafabi said that the RDCs will with effect from Tuesday this week mobilise the community in their respective districts to support the amendment ahead of consultative meetings by the area MPs.

He said that they will be required to work with the NRM district party chairpersons and file daily reports to his office on the updates of their task.

He also requested the RDCs to avail security to the supporters of the amendment who appear on radio talk-shows and at other gatherings. The meeting was also attended by councillors, NRM district chairpersons and LC3 chairpersons from the region.

Mafabi, Asiimwe and Richard Rwabuhinga, the LCV chairperson Kabarole later held a talk show at Voice of Tooro radio station and reiterated their support for amending article 102 (b) of the constitution. 

The visit of Mafabi in the region comes a few days after Alex Ruhunda, the Fort Portal municipality MP and the Kabarole Woman MP, Sylvia Rwabwogo expressed their opinions against the proposed the amendment. 

Another leader who has publicly spoken out against the removal of the age limit is Reverend Willy Kintu Muhanga, the Mayor Fort Portal Municipality. Bishop Reuben Kisembo of Ruwenzori Diocese is also against the removal of the age limit.

1 week 5 days ago

Dragged by plainclothes soldiers out of parliament last week, Kyadondo East MP ROBERT KYAGULANYI SSENTAMU aka Bobi Wine has appealed to speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga to use her position to save the country from a life presidency.

The MP told Baker Batte Lule in a recent interview at his home in Magere, Wakiso, that it was unfortunate Kadaga conspired with [Special Forces Command] soldiers to throw MPs opposed to the removal of presidential age limits, out of parliament.

Bobi Wine with a copy of Constitution and Ugandan flag recently

What happened to you after you were dragged out of parliament last week?

I cannot miss out on this chance to make the case that one member of parliament walked into the house with a gun and colleagues saw him. This led to a scuffle and the House was adjourned eventually.

The following day the speaker confirmed that Ronald Kibuule had walked in with a gun; he was suspended but surprisingly, even us who pointed out this anomaly were suspended too. She gave us 30 minutes to vacate the House but in less than two minutes soldiers came and dragged us out. This was very unfair.

When they dragged us away from the cameras, they tortured us. I was personally manhandled by over 40 people kicking me everywhere. I tried defending myself but they overpowered me and threw me into that ‘Besigye van’ where I found MPs; Muhammad Nsereko, Odonga Otto, Allan Ssewanyana, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda and Gerald Karuhanga.

They drove us to Kira Road police station where we spent a few minutes, then Kira division where Otto, Nsereko and Karuhanga were dropped off. They took us to Naggalama. At Naggalama, a police officer called Muhumuza took my jacket, which had my wallet, and ID.

He never returned them even after we got police bond past midnight. After releasing us they locked us in the police van that looks like a dog’s house, then drove us at breakneck speed. I was the first person to be dropped off at my gate.

Majority NRM MPs say you deserved that treatment because you exported hooliganism into the House. Is that a fair comment?

I’m wondering whether there is anything moral in raping our constitution; is there anything decent in subjecting millions of Ugandans to a life presidency? Nelson Mandela [former South African president] once said that if a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no option but to become an outlaw.

Yes, we stood up and fought to defend our constitution. When Museveni was my age, and was faced with this kind of dictatorship, he didn’t kick and box, but got guns and started a civil war that claimed over 800,000 lives.

So, we could not sit and fold our hands when our mother was being raped. Uganda is our mother. Article 102(b) [on presidential age limits] is the last remaining opportunity for Uganda to have a peaceful transfer of power. We were not wrong and given the opportunity, we will do it again.

Did you people plan to cause mayhem or it was reflex action?

We didn’t expect soldiers to come to the House. Of course, when we were suspended, we rose up to object in a civilised manner but the speaker behaved in a very uncivilised way herself. When the Leader of Opposition [in Parliament], who was not suspended, stood up to speak on behalf of the opposition, she was not heard.

We would probably have walked out peacefully but less than five minutes later we were invaded by soldiers who started beating us. What did we have to do other than defend ourselves?

Bobi Wine at his home in Magere

The speaker says you are going to pay for the damaged parliamentary property. Is that agreeable to you?

I have no problem paying but she will also pay for the catastrophe she will cause to Uganda. Right now she is sitting in a chair that can save lots of lives or cost a lot of lives.

She is sitting in a chair that can cost Uganda her future. She is sitting in a chair that makes very important decisions and it is important that she makes rational decisions. She holds our future and she must know that our lives don’t end with her.

How far were you willing to go with the shouting match and would that stop debate, let alone the amendment of Article 102(b)?

We knew that to win this debate wasn’t about numbers but about right or wrong. We would do anything and use any means necessary for right to prevail.

Are you confident that right will prevail over wrong?

We might not prevail over wrong but they must realise that following the direction of ‘our man’ [President Museveni] will not take this country far.

Some of them have their mouths stuffed with food; so, they can’t talk. Maybe many are compromised and others are afraid but they know that no matter how ferocious the wrong is, right will always prevail.

Some say the war on lifting the presidential age limit can only be won by massive street protests. Do you agree with that thinking?

I would but that will be step three. Step one, I still believe I can convince President Museveni to know that he is going to mess up this country and undo everything he has done if he insists on clinging on.

We are also going to convince MPs that they hold much power and can do Ugandans the greatest service by actually doing nothing at all; by not touching the constitution.

But even if Museveni gets his way in parliament and he goes to the vote, he will not win. I know he will steal but this time round, our people are aware.

Do you really believe Museveni can be defeated at the polls?

Yes Museveni can be defeated in an election. In Gambia, where is ferocious dictator Yahya Jammeh?

For the time you have been MP, what has been your biggest challenge?

For the opposition to unite; I always had a dream of us coming together to think rationally for the future of Uganda. I’m sure I can’t handle everything, and no single MP can.

The challenge has been our differences but God has done it for us because the time has come for us to unite and survive as brothers or perish as fools.

We have seen you moving around different parts of the country and word has it that you have presidential ambitions.

Right now we have a constitution to save. It makes no sense if our nation becomes a monarchy. Before we talk of who should be president, let’s talk about how to take power to our people.

Given an opportunity to meet President Museveni, what would you tell him?

I would tell him to remember his word. I will tell him we have learnt a lot of things from him but he should give us one gift, a peaceful transition of power. He will always be the father of the nation when he becomes the first sitting president to hand over power to another president.

He will still be powerful because he will have done what his predecessors failed to do. As citizens, we want to know the country belongs to us and it was worth losing 800,000 people. But again, I must say, if Museveni doesn’t give us that gift, we shall take it from him.

Some in the opposition think you look determined to take away their clout...

I don’t fight for positions; I fight for freedom. If I see Uganda free today, I would be happy to go back to my music.

It is much more comfortable being a musician than a politician. It was just a calling, I wouldn’t shrug off. Once we get our independence the second time, I will be happy to grow my dreadlocks back.

Has your music suffered because of the politics or has it grown?

My music or politics is not important. What is important is my freedom and that of millions of Ugandans. I would like to call on Ugandans out there not to leave this issue to us.

Just like it took all Ugandans in the 1950s to rise up against colonialism and joined the likes of Ignatius Musaazi, Ben Kiwanuka and Milton Obote to rescue this country. Just as it took combined efforts to liberate Uganda in 1986, it will take all of us to liberate it now from Museveni.

Grapevine has it that Museveni’s emissaries have reached out to you.

I have never met President Museveni, for the record. Pictures showing soldiers saluting me circulating on social media were taken in Budaka where I had a show.

This actually happens regularly; soldiers and police officers salute me and it is right because they know the constitution says the UPDF will be subordinate to civilian authority.

But because they are so desperate to spread lies, this regime can only survive on violence and propaganda. I also must say that I have no problem meeting President Museveni for as long as it is public and there is a known, clear agenda.

A lot has been said about your recent trip to the USA; can you expound on it?

I was invited by Melinda and Bill Gates for a meeting on the global sustainable development goals. It was attended by many world leaders including [former US] President Barack Obama who gave a keynote speech.

We were also with the prime ministers of Canada, Norway, India, the queen of Jordan and many others. I presented a paper on political change and democracy. It was an opportunity to interact with these leaders and there is a lot to learn from them. I wouldn’t want to disclose for now what the fruits of that trip were.

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