Uganda Revenue Authority top officials were on Wednesday dismissed from a meeting with the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises (COSASE) over inconsistent responses to queries. They were asked to return today.
Led by Commissioner General, John Musinguzi Rujoki, the URA officials were questioned regarding the Auditor General’s report for the fiscal year that ended 30 June 2022 on the authority’s financial statements.
The Auditor General’s report implicated URA in acquiring 1.563 hectares of land at a cost of 443.9 million Shillings between 2018 and 2022 using direct procurement, violating the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets – PPDA Act, 2003.
The report disclosed that another 0.847 hectares of land was acquired for Ugx177.98 million without confirmation of funding, contravening Section 59(2) of the same Act.
Additionally, one piece of land measuring 0.716 hectares situated in Mulingitanwa II in Bundibugyo district was purchased at 265.96 million Shillings without obtaining the necessary clearance from the Attorney General, as required by the Constitution.
Tasked to provide details of the land purchases, Corporate Services Commissioner Richard Karisa listed 0.3760 hectares in Mirama Hills in Ntungamo district, 0.716 hectares in Busunga, Bundibugyo district, and 0.4720ha in Bunagana in Kisoro that cost 443 million.
However, when asked by Elijah Okupa, the Kasilo County Member of Parliament to confirm the hectares and price of the purchases, Karisa could not coherently corroborate how the transactions were effected.
Joel Ssenyonyi, the Committee Chairperson expressed frustration over the inconsistent statements provided by the URA officials and dismissed them with instructions for them to return with more accurate information on Thursday.
The Committee is scrutinizing irregularities in the authority’s land procurement process, including instances of direct procurement without proper approvals, acquisition of land without confirmation of funding, and failure to obtain necessary clearances from the Attorney General.