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Handshake Scandal: “I was Paid Shs 30m Bonus for Photocopying”

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URA officials appearing before COSASE today. (Photo by Maurice Ochol)
URA officials appearing before COSASE today. (Photo by Maurice Ochol)

    By: Sam Waswa

  • Feb 8,2017
  • 1001 Viewed

Members of Parliament this morning heard that some of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials who benefited from the Shs 6billion shillings Presidential Handshake did not do any extraordinary work to deserve their share.

The Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises today met with another group of URA officials who were quizzed on their exact participation in the tax arbitration cases in which Uganda won over $700million in tax arrears from Oil companies Tullow and Heritage.

One of the officials Joseph Angulla when tasked to explain his contributions in the cases, he admitted that the work he did for the case which involved mainly filing documents, was no different from his usual job description.

Mr. Angulla who at the time of the cases was serving at URA’s Clerical officer and the custodian of all the documents regarding the oil case was paid Shs 29million in the handshake deal. His normal monthly salary from URA he said was Shs 2.3million.

“I don’t want to insinuate that I was under duress while working on oil case, I but only worked diligently,” he said.

He also pointed out that he never travelled to the International Court of Arbitration in London.

Meanwhile the committee members were astounded by another URA official Paul Ojambo who said he shared Shs 29.5million shillings of the bonuses, just for photocopying documents for the case.

Asked by the committee Chairman Hon Abdu Katuntu on what extraordinary work he did for the case, Ojambo said he used to photocopy documents and work extra hours (beyond 5pm.)

His work he said mainly entailed serving documents, and keeping documents confidentially.

But when pressed on whether he had ever worked late at URA before the oil tax case, he responded in the affirmative, and also confirmed that he had never been paid extra for working late.

Another official Remmy Golooba who was working as a URA lawyer and was paid 133million shillings told the MPs that he didn’t think he deserved that much.

He told the MPs, “Not all rewards merit. I may not have deserved it.”

The committee chair Katuntu adjourned the meeting to Friday this week where officials from the Ministry of Energy are expected.

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  • Kaka John

    “Mr. Angulla who at the time of the cases was serving at URA’s Clerical officer and the custodian of all the documents regarding the oil case” is a responsibility that should not be underestimated compared to the USh 29 million or so because this was a sensitive responsibility. If you falt my observation, are you not aware that in the judiciary, which is the custodian of justice in the country, recently, as many as not less than 100 case files could not be traced! The case files may have been sold by their handlers.

    Given the above credibility problem among public servants, though the procedure of disbursing the handshake may not have been proper, I personally do not see any farce about about the entire issue. I pray that one time, the MPs will also be called to answer one by one what they have done to deserve a hefty over USh 200 Million shillings in monthly earnings from our coffers. It could even be more of the reason why a good number of the MPs on the COSASE team do not utter a word during the cross-examination. Deep in their hearts, they are aware they have no moral credibility themselves.

    I leave it to the readers!

    • Ssali

      Waste of Taxpayers money, this whole inquiry.That money is gone and already eaten.You MP’s are not also innocent.Move on

      • Dembula

        Kaka by your reasoning public servants tasked with sensitive confidential information should be paid money in excess of their normal salary to effectively buy their silence/loyalty. This smacks of a suggestion that they should be bribed to do their jobs. Where does it start and stop. The police constable who is briefed about covert surveillance, the army corporal who is briefed on sensitive security matters, the clerical officer who takes minutes at high level meeting, ministers…..? Who decides what information is sensitive enough to warrant payment over and above the normal remuneration? I could continue ad infinitum. I am pressuming that you have a plan as to how this extra payments will be made.
        With regard to MPs their “get out of jail free card” is that their payments (arguably morally wrong) have been legally sanctioned, albeit by themselves. This handshake from what I have read has no legal basis whatsoever ergo it is illegal.
        As for those who make files disappear there are already laws that govern this both criminal and civil and these could be brought to bear on errant public servants. Enforcement in my view is the problem.
        But hey if you prefer to look the other way when a blatant wrong has been done simply because others are at it as well, that is your prerogative. But don’t try and pretend that this handshake is above board and that we should adopt your dismissive attitude to it.

    • Thomas Sankara

      Indeed you have never had any issue with all the corruption that our beloved nation has endured for the last 31 years. This is most probably because you are part of the the vampires that are ducking the blood of innocent Ugandans. As Ugandans die of hunger in Moroto, as pregnant women die daily of preventable causes, as our roads have turned into death traps and indeed as the majority of civil servants complain of poor pay; you find these so called handshake rationale? Imagine someone is paid 30 million for photocopying! And another for “carrying bags for the officials who went to Court”. And you find this rationale in a poor country like ours? Can these people have contributed more to this country than the late Joan Kagezi who was murdered for prosecuting terrorists? Or the prosecutors who took over the case from her and secured the conviction? Kaka you and your NRM are on the wrong side of history. Your are not only an enemy to the people of this country but the entire African continent. Down with the charlatans. Down with the corrupt. Down with the counter revolutionaries who pretend to be freedom fighters. Aluta continua.

      • Kaka John

        I hold in contempt and despite the hypocritical Sankaras & Dembulas of this world who look on quietly and gleefully as MPs gallop hundreds of billions of shillings in selfish tax exemptions for literary sleeping on the floor of parliament and doing nothing for the people simply because they belong to their political parties. And only catapult up from their silence to belittle and condemn those that have been appreciated for being exemplary and for earning the country trillions of shillings, I despise such blantant lack of consistency and mentalities. I am yet to hear the Sankaras and Dembulas in the same tone and breath condemn the MPs for exempting themselves from taxes on their allowances while the rest of public servants are complying.

        • Thomas Sankara

          Kaka do not pretend to have dropped from mars. You know to well that the majority of MPs are from your NRM. Even if the opposition MPs were to oppose the income tax bill which exempted the MPs from tax, the NRM MPs would easily pass it. That said i know that when it comes to eating, the majority of opposition MPs have exhibited the same gluttony of their NRM counterparts. This is indeed deplorable. Only one or two have come out to oppose this greed. I would like for instance to commend comrade Ssemujju Nganda who is probably the only opposition MP who has stood up to be counted in opposing the gluttony of MPs. But again let us not forget that your beloved Mr. Museveni is on record having said that he would not pass that bill. Why did he sign it after a few months? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that Mr. Museveni survives on patronage. He signed this law because he knows that he will need the MPs when it comes to lifting the age limit to allow his life presidency dream. So while it is true that our MPs are gluttons, Mr Museveni who pretends to be a freedom fighter has allowed them to practice this greed. In the end it is him to blame for all this mess. He is the same person who keeps on dividing up districts and constituencies bloating the size of parliament. So Kaka if you are genuine in your concerns, don’t waste your time on the MPs. THE PROBLEM IS MR MUSEVENI.

  • James Bita

    MPs should not even waste more resources to investigate this matter,the entire money should be paid back ASAP. That money should be use to stock our hospitals with basic medical needs which is lacking in hospitals. No gloves, simple cotton wools, mattresses, for pregnant mothers.

  • WADADA. M.R

    This is what i have always said in this forum, in this country, you do not have to have studied, it does not matter what work you do, all you need is to be close to a thief in Government or to know somebody who knows a thief, you will eat like a king

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