In order to raise revenue for the government civil society organizations have proposed a tax slap in form of license fee on boda-boda riders to a tune of sh200, 000, per-annum
By Francis Emorut
In order to raise revenue for the government civil society organizations have proposed a tax slap in form of license fee on boda-boda riders to a tune of sh200, 000 per-annum.
This they said would streamline the boda-boda services in the country.
Finance minister Matia Kasaija in a Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2015/2016 proposed operator license fee of sh30, 000 for boda-boda operators.
Addressing journalists during a press conference on Sunday in Kampala, civil society actors said the boda-boda tax would also be used for compensating accident victims of motor-cycle riders.
Members of civil society organisations on arrival for a press briefing. (Photo credit: Francis Emorut)
Statistics indicate that most accidents in urban centres are caused by boda-boda riders.
"The raised boda-boda fee is not a punitive tax but for compensation for victims of the motor cycle accidents and for improving service delivery like decongesting the traffic in the city centers," Henry Bazira, the executive director of Water Governance Institute said.
Bazira explained that the money would cater for the expansion of the road network in urban centres and also for health (in hospitals for treating accident victims).
The civil society activists also protested the increased fee for passports saying it's too high for an ordinary citizen.
Government has proposed to charge sh150, 000 for an ordinary passport from sh120, 000.
"For a diplomat to pay the same fee as an ordinary citizen is being unfair," Julius Mukunda, the coordinator of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group stated.
He argued that by the time someone reaches to the level of a diplomat he/she is in position to pay a high amount not the same as an ordinary citizen.
"By the time you become a diplomat you have moved from a particular income bracket level to another level," he said.
Nelly Busingye Mugisha a programme officer of Southern Eastern African Trade Initiative Institute pointed out that there is need to maintain the original fee which is sh 120,000 for an ordinary citizen and for the diplomat be increased to sh300, 000.
Other issues of concern raised by civil society organisations include the need for government to improve on database for revenue collection by updating databases in all districts and linking taxes to service delivery.
Mukunda noted that citizens should pay taxes and demand accountability from government.
He implored government to ensure that revenue collected is not misappropriated by government officials.
Julius Kapepwe, the program director of Uganda Debt Network urged government to streamline property and ground tax collection by responsible agencies.
CSOs want boda-boda riders to pay a tax of sh300,000