Dear Mr. President,
Your Excellence, my name is Egesa Ronald Leonard, the leader of the Ugandans Below 40 (UB40) revolution Movement. I have lived 94.1% of my life under the NRM regime. I belong to that class of Ugandan children that used to sing “Museveni yaleeta emirembe…” I used to be your supporter for all my childhood and early adulthood until after 2011 elections when I discovered that the NRM was now obeying the law of diminishing returns. I am afraid to emphasise to you Mr. President that we are still on that leg of the curve where Uganda is experiencing diminishing returns from the NRM regime.
I am writing this letter to you on the backdrop of your July 4th statement in which you clarified that the Excise Duty on Mobile Money sending and receiving is supposed to be half percent and not 1% and you also indicated that it was still open to discussion. The statement by Your Excellence was quite provocative as well as quite informative. The provocation has led me to not only write to you, but also publically apply for the post of NRM Secretary General. I am as sure as night follows day that if you bless me, the party organs of CEC and NEC will just rubberstamp my name and I ascend to the helm of the Party Secretariat and help your excellence to fix the mess.
Your Excellence, I am a very big fan of you slogan of “Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo”, but am also a logician who believes that it can be rephrased and punctuated to “Mchezo, hakuna kisanja” to mean that if your NRM people bring Mchezo to the management of Ugandan affairs, then, there will be no more Kisanja for NRM. All available evidence now suggests that it is only the UPDF and yourself who are serious in this term while all other Government departments where NRM cadres hold positions of responsibility and leadership are on serious Mchezo.
Your Excellence, I will start responding to your statement from the last point you made; that you will extend the capacity to detect telecom fraud to dealing with the criminal Pigs that have made it a hobby to kill Ugandans. Your Excellence, I am offering to be Secretary General of NRM for half the salary of Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba, but I can guarantee you that I will deal ruthlessly with the pigs that have been advising you wrongly on matters of policy whether on taxation or otherwise.
Your Excellence, while I understand your predicament, I also blame you for failing to appoint the right people in the right jobs. I am going to attach evidence of an email conversation between a concerned citizen and the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes at Uganda Revenue Authority. This conversation proves that the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes agrees that it is illegal to impose Excise duty in the form your Ministers of Finance have advised you to on Mobile Money, but he is equally helpless since Parliament and yourself signed an illegality into law. This means that Hon. Matia Kasaijja, Hon. David Bahati and the bureaucrats in the Finance Ministry are incompetent because they never sought the views of the tax experts in the Uganda Revenue Authority.
Your Excellence, allow me now to address myself on the issue of many people who are supposed to pay tax not paying tax. I agree with you because the corrupt Government officials who steal money from the public purse dodge even some of the commonest indirect taxes. Your Ministers like Kabafunzaki and others who take bribes and also connive with conmen to steal public funds also receive airtime from Government – paid for by the tax payer. It is also true that big time business men and women involved in Export-Import trade bribe officials of the URA and end up under declaring the goods and thereby evade taxes.
The wanainchi cannot dodge indirect taxes on Airtime, Mobile Money and those on commodities such as sugar, salt, paraffin, petrol and diesel, etc. Your Excellence, nothing can demonstrate the evasion of taxes better than the transaction of Tullow oil and Heritage oil that resulted in the protracted legal battles that set the country further back by 6 billion shillings in the form of a handshake to the Government officials who simply did their job to reclaim our tax. The rich people can afford to hire the best lawyers and tax experts to help them avoid paying taxes which the small wanaichi cannot.
Your Excellence, the criminal elements (enemies of Uganda) that have advised you to levy taxes on Mobile Money end-users and not on the telecoms have turned the Telecom firms against you. It is not difficult to see how the Telecom firms have become the largest opposition to Government. Look at the ugly way they implemented the Tax on Mobile Money. Regardless of the arguments for or against the tax, the Telecoms could have embedded it in the charges for Mobile Money without explicitly indicating to the end-user that this is Tax. Indeed all along, they have never indicated VAT and other taxes in the messages confirming transactions to the end users – much as they are required by law to do so. Why are they only choosing to obey the law on a contentious tax that they also do not support? Do we need to examine the motive of the Telecoms further? May be not, but then, we have all reason to examine the reasoning of the architects of the tax in the first place and that is why I am referring to your handlers in finance as criminal elements and enemies of Uganda.
Your Excellence, I agree with you on the facts of Tax: GDP ratio stagnating, but I disagree with you on the urgency of dealing with this problem. My view is that we need to begin by examining the ratio of corruption losses to GDP. The latter ratio needs to urgently be brought down to near zero before we embark on raising the former. It is not difficult to see that we can then divert the money previously lost to corruption to the provision of public services. I must admit that this is the best way you can reclaim credibility and trust amongst the masses. If you remember, in the early years of NRA/M leadership, you were able to sail through unpopular policies without much uproar. Polices such as retrenchment and dropping of zeroes off the currency, if brought today, could bring down the NRM Government, yet nothing like that was thinkable in the past. Why? The answer is simple, your Government has lost credibility when it comes to handling public funds and this is largely due to runaway corruption. Ugandans therefore see no reason as to why such a corrupt Government should be entrusted with more taxes.
Your Excellence, I have spent the last two and a half years in the trenches fighting thieves in your Government. I have discovered that thieves have also taken over critical institutions of the State that are supposed to provide oversight and accountability. I have found that thieves took over the Inspectorate of Government, Office of the Auditor General and the Parliamentary Accountability Committees. The thieves have then formed a dangerous triumvirate that locks out the Financial Intelligence Authority, Internal Security Organisation and others from probing massive theft of public funds that goes on undetected. In order to deal with the ideological bankruptcy and coordinated theft protection networks in these key institutions, the ruling party needs to have a very sober and strict Secretary General who can take on these fellows without fear or favour. I have known no other Ugandan with such qualities other than yours truly.
It is against such background that I publically solicit for your support for the post of NRM Secretary General so that I can steer the party politburo to create for you a lasting legacy that will secure you the title of “Father of the Nation” from the late Dr. Apollo Milton Obote. I will be ready to serve my country with distinction if my application is considered. Your Excellence, Richard Todwong has since gone AWOL and Hon. Kasule Lumumba is busy trading accusations with Dr. Tanga Odoi and failing to perform her duties.
Your Excellence, without stressing further the importance of the party secretariat, allow me to add that the failure to have a functioning secretariat was the main factor that drove Gen. Kale Kayihura to interact with civilians and ended up irregularly recruiting criminals into the Police Force. This unfortunate development also led to the erosion of your legacy on security. This is a grave mistake that does not need to be repeated sir. The NRM needs a rebirth and only ideologically clear youthful people like yours truly can steer the rebirth and cement its place in the good history of Uganda.
With those few words, Your Excellence, allow me to stop here and wish you a wonderful financial year 2018-2019. If you do not fix the Secretariat, your own words will be re-arranged to; Mchezo, Hakuna Kisanja and will result in your disgraceful exit from power.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY
Your fellow Ugandan Citizen,
Egesa Ronald Leonard.