2 min read
21 Feb

In a bid to ease tensions and foster better relations with the communities in West Nile, a significant meeting was held on Monday, February 12th, 2024, between the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and regional leaders. 

The meeting was prompted by escalating tensions resulting from instances of mob violence and operational mishaps by URA enforcement teams, which tragically led to loss of life and injuries in some cases. 

Notable attendees included Minister of State for General Duties, Hon. Henry Musasizi, Commissioner General of URA, Mr. John Musinguzi Rujoki, along with several Members of Parliament from the region including Hon. Atima Jackson Lee Buti, Hon. Ayume Charles, and Hon. Lillian Paparu, among others. Also present were Resident District and City Commissioners, District Police Commanders, and representatives from various security agencies. 

Addressing the concerns raised by the leaders, Minister Musasizi expressed condolences for the lives lost and emphasized the government's commitment to valuing taxpayers and their contributions to national development. He acknowledged the importance of addressing grievances raised by MPs and assured them of the government's responsiveness to such issues. 

In response to calls for more humane enforcement practices and increased community engagement on tax matters, Minister Musasizi announced a significant concession: 

"All unregistered Boda Bodas would be granted a six-month registration period, with the registration fee slashed by half. This move aims to alleviate financial burdens on Boda Boda operators while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements."Says  Minster 

Commissioner General Musinguzi outlined URA's strategies to enhance community engagement and curb instances of violence and smuggling. He emphasized the importance of intelligence-led enforcement, strengthened operational coordination, and zero tolerance for corruption within URA ranks.  

"How can we avoid violence? How can we avoid senseless killings? And killings, by the way, are not only on one side. Killings are on the side of the people who are trying to smuggle. Killing is on the side of innocent bystanders who suffer death because of stray bullets. Killings is on the part of enforcement officers who are attacked by angry mobs. So death is regrettable no matter who has died. Life is precious. It's precious before God. It's precious before all of us as human beings. No one has the right to take the life of another. So in this effort to contribute towards stopping these kind of instances of unfortunate demise, as Uganda Revenue Authority, we have been thinking and thinking hard on the number of things which we have stepped out to do". Says  Commissioner General John Musinguzi 

In conclusion, the URA-West Nile Leaders Meeting signifies a proactive step towards addressing grievances and fostering constructive dialogue between government agencies and local communities. By offering concessions and committing to improved enforcement practices, both URA and regional leaders aim to mitigate tensions and  mutual understanding for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.

Notice from URA ARUA OFFICE 

Westnile sub region has lost a number of taxpayers in the confrontation between the enforcement officers and the local community.The recent killing happened in January this year in Madi Okollo district where the enforcement team rained bullets on civilians and left Acidri Moses a saloon operator dead.Acidri Moses was a resident of Pamachi village, Adra parish in Offaka Sub County.

By Abas Hamza Dailywestnile.info  
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