MIMICRY AND CONSPIRACY: Understanding the MPs’ Solidarity Against the 6bn Cash Bonanza

By: Daraus Bahikire

It was evident in the house on the 10th of January 2017 when the whole house irrespective of the political party of affiliation strongly booed on Justice Kavuma’s injunction that was baring the parliament, pills media houses and any member of the public from engaging in any debate, buy discussion or discourse on the said 6billion shillings allotted to 42 high-ranking officers as an appreciation for the work well done in the arbitration case against Tullow oil.

In this case Tullow was against the capital tax imposed on them.

Neither the Attorney General nor any body was spared when he stood in defense of the petition.

The question remains; why such a solidarity?

All Ugandans should remember that such solidarity was not eminent to any magnitude during the debate on the tax exemption bill for the legislators.

Signed into law on the 19th of November 2016 under sect 21(a), physician the law grants a tax exemption on MPs emoluments and allowances.

This exemption totals to to over 49billion mindful of the fact that 2017/2018 budget is projected to have a short fall of Ushs4483.44bn.

In total, the MPs impose a financial burden of Ushs138bn annually which is 23 times higher than 6bn shillings offered to the bonus recipients.

The question remains, why were the legislators unable to gang and surrender the huge exempted tax to the national treasury for provision of a public appreciating the fact that Uganda is crippled by a heavy low tax base?

Unfortunately, the entire tax burden shifts to the already burdened population who are low income earners which the majority of the voters are not observing at a moment.

Citizens are urged to hold their MPs accountable since they have clearly and openly justified their tax exemption in disguise of having constituency overloads.

For God and My country

The writer is a Communications Officer at Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT)

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