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Interests of Ugandans must be first, Akena tells gov’t

Hon. Jimmy Akena addressing media earlier today at UPC's party headquarters in Kampala

Uganda people’s Congress party president Hon. Jimmy Akena has called on government to always ensure that the interests of a common man are at the forefront, while making any policy for this nation.

This comes, after the business community in the city centre decided to go on strike by locking up all their business shops, in protest of the Uganda Revenue Authority’s EFRIS system which they claim is not only inconvenient but also unfair.

Under the new EFRIS system, buyers are entitled to receive a receipt for the purchase of goods worth Shs450,000 and above, failure to do so attracts a fine of UGX. 5 million.

EFRIS is an initiative introduced by the Uganda Revenue Authority under its domestic revenue mobilization program to address the tax administration challenges relating to business transactions and the issuance of receipts.

However, Akena believes that for such initiatives to be effective, the government needs to involve the stakeholders during their formulation, for example carrying out sensitization campaigns inregards to the importance of the newly introduced initiatives.

Akena also disclosed that, although EFRIS started with big business establishments like industries and super markets among others, extending the policy to medium sized business establishments is a very big challenge because most of them lack sufficient knowledge on the new tax initiative.

“UPC therefore calls upon URA to go slow while implementing EFRIS program. The focus and emphasis should be put on educating and engaging the business community about such policies on a regular basis.” He said

He also noted that the tension between the URA and the traders which has culminated into closure of businesses in Kampala, has come at the wrong time when businesses are just recovering from the consequences of Covid-19 lockdown which isn’t good for our economy.

“this does not only affect internal business transaction and collection of government revenue, but also puts regional trade at stake.” Akena said

He further lashed out at tax waivers, which has highly favoured foreign investors at the expense of the local traders.

“Much as we need to influence foreign investment as a country, we should not allow to sacrifice our local companies. This may undermine our efforts of Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU).” He explained

It’s upon the above background, that he demanded for fairness and equity in the implementation of such policies (tax waivers) without discrimination to reduce on the impasse in the trade sector.

As 2026 general election edges closer, Akena disclosed that in their manifesto, such tax policies shall be revised to place the best interest of the people of Uganda at the center of everything.

Derek Kanalo
the authorDerek Kanalo
News Reporter/ Editor
Am a professionally trained and well skilled media personality. Accuracy is part of my top priority as a journalist.