By Our Reporter
The plight of the famine ravaging the lives of the Karamojong is a sad tale that spurred a deep-seated painful emotion among the staff of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to reach out to 1,000 households.
Over 3,250 staff mobilized themselves and agreed to restore smiles to the lives in the Karamoja sub-region. Collectively, URA mobilized over UGX150m from individual staff contributions. This facilitated the delivery of 10,000kgs of maize flour, 5,000kgs of beans and 2,000kgs of rice. URA’s management added assorted clothes and blankets to the homesteads in Rupa sub-country, Moroto District.The investment profile of the region estimates that 80% of the households in the Karamoja sub-region own cattle. According to research from the UBOS through the Uganda National Household Survey (UBOS: UNHS 2019/20) Karamoja, is one of the poorest regions in Uganda, with income poverty at 66% (having increased from 61% in 2017) and food poverty at 75% (having increased from 70% in 2017)
In financial year 2021/2022, revenue collections from this region, through the Moroto domestic taxes office, were UGX 4.855 billion, with the largest contribution from the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax head at UGX 2.693 billion followed by Withholding tax contributing UGX 1.069 Billion.
URA’s heed to this cause came after a series of stories from different media platforms this year highlighting the famine in the region as some people dropped dead from lack of food, while others trekked distances in search for even a little crumb to feed the rumbling stomachs.
This year, URA prioritized this cause as the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity for the year to effect social change in the communities in which they operate.
“The culture of charity in URA has an immeasurable impact on our communities. The small gesture made today portrays our value of patriotism for the country and its people. I pray other Ugandans will show the same level of love and patriotism by sharing the little they have to better the lives of the Karamojong,” said the Mr Ibrahim Bbossa Kibuuka, URA’s Assistant Commissioner Public and Corporate Affairs.
The Regional Police Commander, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Francis Chemusto noted that this act of giving back shows that URA not only collects taxes but also cares for Ugandans.
“You have made the perfect shot and hit the nail on the head by bringing the right basic needs such as food and clothes that our community needs right now,” SSP Chemusto said.
For the past 13 years, URA’s philanthropic contributions have left an indelible mark and created an enjoyable working relationship with its stakeholders. These activities have ranged from environmental protection, providing scholarly materials, providing hospital equipment, cleaning markets, donating blood and visiting the orphanages among others. To date, URA has touched various communities and individuals in over 350 CSR causes.
URA has over the years taken a social stand to purposely give back and take care of some needs in the community to build public confidence in the organization, create rapport and pave way for compliance within the taxpaying community.