By Tanbull256 reporter
Commissioner General Johnson Rujoki Musinguzi has spoken out on the recent media demonization the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) he leads has recently endured. In a post-Easter message sent on the URA staff mailing list, Rujoki makes it clear that, much as they respect and recognize the IGG Beti Kamya’s mandate to investigate any alleged or perceived impropriety, he is certain that the wild corruption allegations being made by the so-called whistle blowers are untrue.
He is confident that the IGG inquiry, which management is prepared to enable by fully cooperating through provision of all the required clarificational information, will culminate into the exoneration of the organization which he is determined to cleanse of both real and perceived corruption.
Rujoki, at the helm of URA since April 2020, asserts that the malicious whistle blower information, which is aimed at derailing performance, is the work of some of the former URA employees who have had to be purged (since he took charge) for their well-established involvement in impropriety. With barely three months to the end of the FY2022/2023, URA must collect Shs8trn in taxes to be able to 100% hit its set target. The Commissioner General in the same mail registers his optimism the target is going to be hit.
Likening the ongoing transformation at URA to the Biblical rebuilding of Jerusalem walls, as described in Nehemiah 4 of the Bible, Rujoki unequivocally states the tax body will be rebuilt into a stronger, more efficient and robust public revenue mobilization organization whose contribution to the building and development of Uganda all citizens will be very proud of. That the modern day skeptics and detractors (similar to the Sanballats & Tobiahs) the Bible makes reference to in the Book of Nehemiah (chapter 4) will in the end have no option but to die in their movie
The CG also makes it clear that his leadership will succeed in achieving its well stated mission, of enabling the GoU raise the trillions required to finance Uganda’s transformation agenda, because he is counting on the collective good will, hard work, dedication and prudence of URA staff whose well-demonstrated enthusiasm saw the organization collect Shs133bn (Shs57bn in Customs & Shs76bn in Domestic Taxes) in just one day (on the first day after the Easter break).
Rujoki commends his staff for their resilience and such high performance which he says is indicative they are collectively determined not to be derailed by the deliberate demonization being championed by disgruntled former employees who had to be sanctioned after it was established they had no place in the new URA. Referring to them as ‘Comrade URA Warriors,’ Rujoki implores his staff/team comprising of several thousands to remain ‘focused on the mission’ of spearheading revenue mobilization for their country Uganda.
Below is the reproduction of Commissioner General Johnson Rujoki Musinguzi’s commendation message to his staff:
FOCUS ON THE MISSION!!
Dear URA Warriors,
I would like to sincerely appreciate you all for your continual sacrifice and effort towards our sacred mandate of revenue mobilization. As we come towards the end of the Financial Year 2022/2023, I urge you all to stretch yourselves and look for all the missing coins and, with God on our side, we shall be victorious.
In recent weeks, URA has received negative publicity in some media reports regarding alleged corruption within us and the ongoing IGG investigation. Fortunately, you know better than anybody else that these allegations are quite unfair and untrue.
You also know that the negative elements that have been expelled from this organization are manipulatively using the information about our internal efforts to combat corruption to portray the organization in a negative light. Management will fully cooperate with the IGG and all the allegations shall be responded to conclusively.
We remain committed and determined to fight corruption in URA. As I have always mentioned in all my communications with you, corruption will not be tolerated in URA. We will continue to internally investigate credible corruption allegations and take the necessary actions in line with the internal organizational policies.
The purpose of this email, therefore, is to request that you, comrade warriors, remain calm and stay focused on our mission of mobilizing enough revenue for our national development.
When the Jews under the leadership of Nehemiah had reached the halfway point in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Sanballat and Tobiah became envious and tried to stir up trouble to stop the work (read the full story in Nehemiah 4).
However, the builders chose not to be discouraged or diverted. So they used one hand to build the wall and the other hand to carry a weapon for defense. So Comrade URA Warriors, let us not divert from our mission of achieving and surpassing the revenue collection target this Financial Year.
We shall collect all the revenue we have to even as we deal with the Sanballats. We are only left with about Ugx8Trillion and less than a quarter to go. Furthermore, it has come to my attention that some staff members are being intimidated and blackmailed by callers masquerading as journalists or investigators asking them to pay some money in order not to publish the allegations from a whistle-blower. PLEASE DON’T ALLOW TO BE FOOLED!
In accordance with the URA Communications Policy, refrain from making comments to the public and the media. Should anyone contact you, kindly direct them to the URA Spokesperson, the Assistant Commissioner Public and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Ibrahim Kibuuka Bbosa or myself the Commissioner General and all engagements with the IGG investigators shall be coordinated by the Commissioner Tax Investigations Mr. Dennis Kugonza.
Finally, I commend you on yesterday’s performance where Customs collected over Ugx57bn and Domestic Taxes collected over Ugx76bn. This was a wonderful performance from Easter and a genuine indication that our resilience has returned with the risen Christ. Please keep it up. I wish you a successful and prosperous month of April. ALUTA CONTINUA.