URA to Disregard Museveni Remarks on Private Schools’ Tax

URA Commissioner General Doris Akol

In what appears to be a miracle to many including the convict, approved the General Court Martial in Makindye on Wednesday handed a one year sentence to Rtd. Capt. Amon Byarugaba.

His children described the sentence as “surprising, no rx ” saying they expected a tougher penalty.

They expressed joy that Byarugaba will now serve his sentence at Luzira prison, leaving military detention where he spent 13 years on remand.

He was arrested in 2003 in the DRC based Ituri forest and charged with treason for being part of the People’s Redemption Army rebels.

His 22 accomplices have since been released after asking for amnesty.

Late last month, the court convicted Byarugaba in a 30-minute ruling read by the chairman Maj. Gen Levi Karuhanga. He cited testimonies from three witnesses who provided corroborating evidence, pinning him for being involved in activities meant to overthrow government through the use of the gun.

In their litigation, the prosecution lawyers led by Maj. Fredrick Kangwamu requested for a harsh punishment for Byarugaba whom they described as not being remorseful throughout the trial.

“He was charged with treason which constitutes actions meant to overthrow government but has not expressed any sign of remorsefulness for his actions. He should be given a deterrent sentence and should serve as a lesson to others that there are better ways of opposing government than the use of guns,” Kangwamu told court on March 24 during the conviction.

However, during his sentence today (Wednesday) the General Court Martial chairman said that though on conviction the suspect was liable to a death sentence considering the gravity of the offence, the penalty was abolished in the country.

“You ought to serve a bigger punishment because the offence was grave and would cause fear among the public. However, considering the 12 years you have spent on remand, being a first offender and of advanced age, I sentence you to one year imprisonment. You are free to appeal within 14 days from now. Done and signed under my seal on this 15, April,” Maj. Gen Karuhanga read in a 20-minute ruling.

Family Members Beam with Joy

It was joy all over the faces of the children of Rtd. Capt Byarugaba and this could evidently be seen while they were still seated in the court hall.

In an interview with ChimpReports, Byarugaba’s eldest son Fred Kakooza noted that it was indeed a miracle for their dad to be handed a one-year sentence.

“We always thought it would be big considering the events that had taken place prior to the sentence. We however maintain the charges against him were just concocted   considering that the prosecution brought only three witnesses without a single exhibit,” said Kakooza.
The two newly promoted UPDF officers by President Museveni have been decorated today at a colourful ceremony held at Ministry of Defence headquarters in Mbuya, doctor Kampala.

Addressing the gathering of the military top brass, information pills chief guest Lt. Gen Ivan Koreta called for dedication to work as well as professionalism in the force as major pillars for promotions.

“The promotion of James Mugira from Brigadier to Major General as well as Maj Gen James Nakibus Lakara has been due to their dedicated service to the force, buy ” said Gen Koreta.

He urged the junior cadres in attendance to look up to some of the generals who have made it to the different ranks because of their commitment to the armed force.

Army Spokesperson Paddy Ankunda described the promotions as “worthwhile”, saying it calls for more seriousness and commitment from the other junior officers.

Gen Mugira greeting Brig Phinehas Katirima

Gen Mugira greeting Pecos Kutesa

The two in their acceptance speech praised the commander-in-chief, President Museveni, for believing in them and elevating them to higher positions of responsibility.

“When you are entrusted with a duty, do it to your best and let your action speak,” said Maj Gen Mugira, the Managing Director, Luwero Industries Ltd and former Chief of Military Intelligence and Security.

Lakara, who has been appointed as Deputy Force Command, Africa Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), expressed joy about his promotion, promising to give his all for the UPDF’s excellence.

Lakara being decorated by his wife and Gen Koreta

Lakara being decorated by his wife and Gen Koreta

Mugira and Lakara were visibly excited at the decoration ceremony

Mugira and Lakara were visibly excited at the decoration ceremony

The former Acting Chief of Staff of the UPDF (from 04 Nov 2001 to Jun 2003), further urged young officers to work for the army with selflessness and dedication.

The event was attended by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence, Rosette Byengoma and high profile UPDF officers including Maj General Pecos Kutesa, Commander of the Land Forces Maj Gen David Muhoozi, Col Kaganda, Brig. Vincent Owura and Brig. Joseph Musanyufu.

The two new Generals expressing joy about the promotion

The two new Generals expressing joy about the promotion

Lakara in a chat with Katirima

Lakara in a chat with Kutesa

The ceremony saw senior army officers praise the dedication of Mugira and Lakara to the army

The ceremony saw senior army officers praise the dedication of Mugira and Lakara to the army

Army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda (R) listening to the speeches

Army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda (R) listening to the speeches

Maj Gen Muhoozi hugging Mugira's wife, Jackie

Maj Gen Muhoozi hugging Mugira’s wife, Jackie

The function was attended by the military's top brass

The function was attended by the military’s top brass

Gen Koreta arriving at the ceremony

Gen Koreta arriving at the function

The promoted officers and their wives at the ceremony

The promoted officers and their wives at the ceremony

Prince David Kijanangoma has vowed not to bow before King Oyo and his camp seeking for mediation and reconciliation.

He explained that before he announced himself new King, buy information pills he talked to King Oyo and his team about the “messing up of the kingdom,” urging remedies but that his views were ignored with officials saying he was tarnishing the institution’s image.

Prince Kijanangoma’s tough statement came after King Oyo instituted a nine-member committee to investigate the conflicts in the Kingdom as Kijanangoma intensified his mobilization against the king.

Members of the ruling Babiito clan recently said Kijanangoma used wrongful procedures including the media to address his grievances instead of channelling his complaints to the Babiito Assembly.

On Wednesday, Prince Kijanangoma said his camp is not ready to reconcile but to invade the palace and oust King Oyo and his leadership for overstaying in Kampala thus abandoning his subjects; selling off of the kingdom properties and allowing the Queen Mother Bets Kemigisa to take over the Kingdom’s operations.”

“There is no reason for reconciliation because for the 23 years Oyo has been reigning as king, his administration has done more harm by evicting tenants and grabbing kingdom assets,” said Kijanangoma.

Tooro Kingdom Princess Elizabeth Bagaya in March described Kijanangoma as an impostor.

Addressing a meeting at Mucwa Complex, Princess Bagaya said, “There has been a lot of distorted information that has been circulating in the kingdom which I term as misinformation intended to poison our people”.

Princess Bagaya said the issue of succession in Tooro kingdom was streamlined and nobody would resort to the old-fashioned violent style of grabbing power in Tooro kingdom.

On the issue of King Oyo overstaying in Kampala, Bagaya said the King is ever out of the kingdom majorly to lobby for his subjects.

She said, “The kingdom authority has a list of what King Oyo has lobbied for the kingdom. Even King Oyo’s grand Father King Rukidi had a palace in Kololo in Kampala. This issue of King Oyo having a palace in Kampala is a deliberate effort to mislead the people of Tooro”.

Bagaya said the issue of succession was sorted by their late Father King Rukidi when he named Oyo’s father Oyo Kaboyo as heir and consequently his son.

Tooro Tour

However, addressing a press conference at his Rwengoma palace on Tuesday, Kijanangoma revealed that he has moral support from Ntoroko people who were fed up of the Kingdom issues, Kingdoms of Bunyoro and Buganda where he has been holding consultation and guidance meetings.

Kijanangoma, who says he is to embark on a tour of Tooro, called for calm among the people of Tooro, adding the struggle for their rights and property is just beginning.

The Prince’s aide Dan Rubombora disclosed that plans are underway to enthrone Kijanangoma as Tooro King before storming Karuzika to overthrow Oyo if he does not abdicate within three months.

He admitted that they are a rebel camp loyal to King Kijanangoma to whom they pay royal allegiance as cultural leader after denouncing King Oyo as a failure.

Rubombora said King Oyo fell short of upholding the cultural values and norms of the kingdom.
The Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority, diagnosis Doris Akol has said President Museveni’s remark on tax on private schools was simply an expression of personal opinion not a formal communication or directive.

Ms Akol who on Wednesday led a team of top URA officials in a courtesy visit to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, more about Jacob Oulanya, said the tax body will continue to collect taxes from private institutions of learning.

President Museveni while at Mbarara High School on Tuesday said tax on private schools should be reviewed to allow the private sector to continue providing education services to Ugandan students and pupils who are not going to public schools.

The president said instead more tax should be imposed on breweries and cosmetic companies.

“We have very many drunkards in Uganda and those making perfumes for women. They are the ones supposed to be taxed more but not our schools,” said Museveni in the western district of Mbarara.

The tax body however has not wholesomely welcomed the development and maintained the communication has no effect though they are ready to adjust anytime they are formally called upon.

“The words from His Excellency the president were his opinion. It was not a directive to us to stop taxing private schools as stipulated in the 2014/2015 national budget and supposed to carry on,” Ms Akol told journalists at Parliament who asked her about the development after meeting the Deputy Speaker.

The visit to Parliament came at the time when the August House is currently scrutinising the proposed budget for the coming financial year 2014/2015.

Private schools are to be charged 30 percent taxes on their gross income as per the 2014/15 budget.

The House’s Deputy Speaker assured the tax body of full support in terms policy making and amendments to make the latter carry out its activities efficiently and at ease.

“The Parliament is ready to give all necessary support to URA. All formulations to be brought before for the better of revenue collections shall be welcomed and supported,” Mr. Oulanya said.

Oulanya, however, asked the revenue authority not only to concentrate its tax collection efforts in the city but also spread to upcountry areas.

The private sector recently warned that levying endless taxes on educational institutions will grossly affect the education sector with many teachers likely to lose employment and hundreds of pupils  dropping out due to high school dues.


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