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Kagina set to stay at helm of revenue bodyPublish Date: Jul 15, 2010
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By David Mugabe
and Mark Owor

UGANDA Revenue Authority (URA) commissioner general Allen Kagina’s contract has been extended by two years.

Sources confirmed that Kagina will stay on after steering the tax agency through one of its most radical transitions from one of the most corrupt institutions through a self-purging into one of the region’s most gainful revenue authorities.

Kagina was, however, hesitant to confirm her contract extension.

“I have a contract running up to the end of October. When I am ready. I will let you know what happens; I promise,” said Kagina on phone.

Keith Muhakanizi, the deputy secretary to the treasury, in the finance ministry that supervises URA, declined to talk.

“I have no idea (about extension), talk to Bbumba (Syda),” said Muhakanizi. However, Bbumba’s assistants said she was in a meeting.

Meanwhile, sources indicated that Gerald Sendaula, the former finance minister, is the new board chairman. He replaces Ibrahim Kabanda.

Under Kagina, URA has helped the country tone down its dependence on foreign donor budget support by up to 70%.

Partly because of this impressive performance, the Government has increased its bar of expectations from URA.

In her 2010/2011 budget speech, Bbumba said the resource envelope for the next financial year amounts to sh7, 552b of which sh5,640b would be financed from domestic sources.

That means locally generated revenue will account for almost 75% of the total revenue base.

“Next year’s budget will be about 19.1% of GDP,” said Bbumba.

The Government says although the annual performance has been good, the tax authority can still do better if the gaps in tax administration are plugged.
These include the sophisticated white collar tax evaders who forge paperwork, outright smuggling and underdeclaration.

Available reports indicate that several shots close to the Government have been warming up for Kagina’s job and that of Amelia Kyambadde, the principal private secretary to the President. Kyambadde’s Job has since been taken up.

Kagina began her career as a teaching assistant at Makerere University in 1985 before moving to the President’s office, according to the Anti Corruption Coalition Uganda online book of shame and fame.

Kagina then joined URA as a senior principal revenue officer from 1992-1998. She rose to the rank of deputy commissioner in charge of customs from 2000 to 2001 before taking over as the commissioner general.

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