PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni (right) has directed local governments to stop collection of illegal taxes on highways as revenue for the districts.
Closing a workshop for local government leaders, central government officials and Ugandaâ€™s development partners to prepare for the 2006/7 national budget, Museveni said, â€œI have lately seen all sorts of roadblocks as I travel around the country. On inquiry, I was told that these roadblocks collect illegal taxes from poor peasants. This must stop immediately.â€
â€œLocal governments can only collect taxes in designated markets but not set up illegal roadblocks to squeeze money from poor farmers. Imagine how many local governments there are between Arua and Kampala. Imagine how expensive the goods would be if we allowed those illegal roadblocks,â€ he said.
He blasted local government leaders for not assisting Ugandans in the countryside to fight poverty in their households.
â€œI get tired of talking about this. Repent of your sins because the kingdom of God is at hand. More than 68% of our households are living at subsistence level. They are working for their stomachs only.
â€œWhy do you use people and not help them change their lives for the better? Why have you not assisted them to move to commercialised agriculture? Why donâ€™t you develop contact farmers who can act as role models for their communities?â€ he asked.
Museveni said his government had the policies, political will and was committed to maintaining macro-economic stability, fiscal deficit reduction, value for money and fighting corruption.
He hailed the current leadership of the Uganda Revenue Authority as â€œone of our deliberate strategies to fight corruption and increase revenue collectionâ€.
Museveni stops taxes on roads