President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has distanced himself from the entire idea of over taxing Ugandans.
Speaking while addressing the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Local Governments at statehouse, Museveni noted that he discourages the idea of taxing the poor.
He added that taxing the poor is unfair though its easy to indirectly involve them as they purchase other goods that are already highly taxed like alcohol.
“On taxes imposed by districts, although our economy is small with few tax points, I discourage the idea of taxing the poor. For instance in Lukaya, you tax gonja sellers and mchomo sellers. Why don’t you leave them and collect the annual tax only? Let them make money, they will purchase other goods that are already taxed like alcohol.” He stated.
The committee presented to him a report on the findings on the performance of accounting officers of District Local Governments and Municipal Councils countrywide and irregularities in service delivery to the public.
He also said that the issue of insufficient resources that the central governments gives to districts, politicians and the administrative class should learn from the experience of the NRM, where we use scarce resources to achieve maximum impact.
Museveni added that Local governments need to prioritise especially because we have scarce resources. Not everything can be done at the same time.
“Although the budget for local governments has been increased from Shs5b to Shs32000b, it is an illusion to think you can be everywhere and do everything at the same time. Local governments should therefore prioritise roads, electricity, health, education and defense. And as the resource envelope increases, tackle other areas.” He stated.
“I agree with the committee that there is a lot of dishonesty in local governments. Even the little resources we have are stolen. Government does not condone this, we are going to terminate the services of these officers and prosecute them.” He Added.