Demonstration on MPs tax exception

DENIVA members, board members and the Executive Director in front of the DENIVA secretariat in Kampala

DENIVA members, board members and the Executive Director in front of the DENIVA secretariat in Kampala

25th April 2016, DENIVA and its members undertook a demonstration on MPs committing to avoid taxes on their huge allowances. Around 250 worried members of DENIVA participated in the demonstration at the DENIVA secretariat in Kampala.

As a country, we are in middle of a serious economic turbulence where every productive Ugandan who sweats daily must continue paying taxes to maintain Government and fill the huge public service gap.

At the demonstration, the message was loud and clear: ALL LEADERS MUST BE EXEMPLARY TAX PAYERS – For better health, education and water services.

Justus Rugambwa, the Executive Director of DENIVA held a press statement for the media:

”MPs are among the best paid Ugandans.  Households of teachers, nurses and households of other lower cadre in public service still survive on less than USD 1 a day.  Even in this poverty, they still pay taxes on their allowances, normally aggregated in their monthly pay.  They pay in the hope that such taxes will maintain their elected MPs and other public officials and fund priority education, health and other public services.   It is clear that our MPs got blinded of this reality in their decision to exempt their huge allowances from taxation” (press statement, 25.04.2016).

Click here to see the whole press statement

DENIVA members express their frustrations about the MPs taxbill in-front of the mediaDENIVA members express their frustrations about the MPs taxbill in-front of the media

DENIVA members express their frustrations about the MPs tax bill in-front of the media

Police blocked the demonstration

DENIVA had informed the police about the demonstration days before it took place. However, the police denied us permission to conduct a peaceful demonstration around the area of Makerere University. The police argued that the demonstration was not notified three days in advance. Hence, the demonstration took place within the walls of DENIVA’s secretariat.

Friday 22th April, four days before the demonstration, DENIVA staff tried to negotiate with bureaucracy from Kagugube Police Station, Central Police Station up to Headquarters. Police informed us that if we intend to organise such action in Kampala, we must approach the Police Headquarters with a letter straight to the IGP. On this request, DENIVA drafted a letter to Police notifying them of our intention to hold an action and requesting for security.

When DENIVA staff reached Headquarters on Saturday 22th April,we were told that Police does not work on weekends  – so we had to wait until Monday.

Read more about the police blocking in NEW VISION by clicking here

Demonstrators hold their placards while shouting to the mediaDemonstrators hold their placards while shouting to the media

Demonstrators hold their placards while shouting to the media

However, the police blocking did not prevent the participants to raise their voices and concerns about the Tax Income Bill. People were angry and frustrated while jumping and shouting the quotes written on their banners: “MPs allowances should be taxed – we are all equal”, “MPs must pay taxes too – it’s a civic duty” and “Why do you MPs not want to pay taxes, when us who get salaries from 250.000 pay taxes?

The demonstration linked up with the on-going initiative aimed at raising 5 million signatures against the tax exemption led by CSBAG civil society.

DENIVA and its members would like to thank Trocaire for supporting the event.

More pictures from the demonstration can be found on our facebook page by clicking here

DENIVA PROGRAMS AND KEY OBJECTIVES

Governance and Human Rights

Governance and Human Rights

The Governance and Human Rights Program aims at strengthening and nurturing partnerships and communities to advocate for a democracy that serves all citizens in Uganda. The program works for social, economic and political accountability of local and...

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The Sustainable Livelihoods Program aims at supporting MOs with skills and knowledge in order to advocate pro-poor and gender sensitive policies through programmes in agriculture, trade, climate change and improved service delivery. The objectives a...

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DENIVA has a long term experience in providing capacity building services to CSOs as one of its key mandates. Organizational development interventions ranges from research, proposal development, presentation and facilitation skills; negotiation and n...

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