- URA announced three-month sensitization campaign where the public is encouraged to voluntarily respond to pay their taxes and rewards will be given to people who offer information on smuggling
- The goods like Motorcycles, Rice, Sugar and Kitenge are rampantly being smuggled in to West Nile from DRC, Guatemala and South Sudan
- The URA Commissioner customs and the members of Parliament were on the fact finding mission on the porous borders of West Nile
By Candia Stephen
Arua. The cases of smuggling of the popular Kitenges, motorcycles, rice and sugar especially from the neighboring counties have remained high in West Nile.
Speaking during a press conference on Sunday, the Commissioner Customs Uganda Revenue Authority Dickson Katesumbwa, said that much as there is reduction in smuggling URA still have a huge battle to reduce smuggling of the four goods.
As a result, URA has announced a three months’ campaign to sensitize business community in West Nile. The campaign was launched on Sunday also to avert further incidences like that of Yumbe district last week.
“We still have a lot of cases of smuggling of four main items of rice, sugar, Kitenges and motorcycles. If the goods from those countries enters Uganda, people should be able to pay taxes on them,” he said.
The Commissioner also allayed fears over brutality by the enforcement officers saying the Tax body will try to be sensitive when enforcing the law but urges those smuggling to stop the vice.
L-R Commissioner Customs Dickson Katesumbwa, MP for Rubanda East Henry Musasizi, MP and Shadow Minister for Finance General Duties Anthony Ekol and a URA staff at Arua Domestic Tax offices on Sunday. Photo by Candia Stephen.
Meanwhile the MP for Rubanda East Henry Musasizi appeals to the people of West Nile to desist from smuggling as it not only negatively affects trader’s normal way of doing business but also presents the smugglers with risks of losing their lives.
“By far URA has done a commendable job in ensuring that the Country provides services to the citizens, the people should appreciate the normal channel of doing businesses,” Musasizi said.
However, the shadow minister for finance general duties Anthony Ekol, urges the people to fulfill their obligations of paying taxes so as to enable the country deliver services and pay her debts.
“As a country we can collect a lot of money if there is no smuggling, lets own the country so that we can reduce on public debt,” MP Ekol said.
But Ely Asiku the MP for Koboko North stressed the need for government and people to work together in facilitating business in the region.
He added that the relationship between URA and the ‘Wanainchi’ needs to be improved through face to face engagements and appreciation of each other’s roles.
“We are peace loving people and as leaders, we shall mobilize the people to receive the services of URA,” MP Asiku said.