MITYANA. Leaders of the Catholic Church in Mityana District have petitioned President Museveni on the high taxes imposed by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) on donations for the different church project items meant to uplift the standards and wellbeing of the residents.
Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa, the Chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference and Bishop of Kiyinda Mityana Diocese says the high taxes imposed by the tax body for all items donated by friends of the Church including the Education and Health related material continues to slow down and at times stall the projects progress as the donors take on the extra task of sourcing funds to meet the taxes before the items are released to the Church.
“Your excellence we appeal to your office for intervention and consideration on tax waivers on all Church donations and the removal of the bureaucratic tendencies within the procurement processes for the donations which greatly impacts on the Church projects. The Church is a fundamental partner in development but a number of projects have stalled simply because URA holds the materials and asks for huge amounts in terms of taxes. The donors have to mobilize for more funds to pay for the taxes,” Bishop Zziwa told Mr Museveni on Easter Sunday at St Joseph Bukalamuli Church in Kikandwa Sub County, Mityana District where the President attended the Easter Sunday service prayers.
Bishop Zziwa who reminded the President about the history of Kikandwa Sub-county which at one time hosted the NRA Bush war guerillas led by President Museveni in the early 1980s living much of the then flourishing businesses and infrastructure destroyed called for a Presidential intervention to help restore some of the key sectors which are still failing including the factories that were destroyed.
Kiyinda –Mityana Diocese has six districts and the area with a purely farming population needs tractors among other key interventions from Government. These people are hardworking and can easily engage in farming once we get the boost, the Bishop told the President.
President Museveni who seemed very familiar with the history of the area as he kept mentioning the different villages that hosted his guerrilla forces reminded the residents and the Church leaders about his past and present commitment to ensure that people living in these former war areas benefit from the different government projects. He also advised the Bishop to have a special committee elected that will meet the State House Comptroller at a given time as part of the follow up on some of the projects.
“You have six parishes and I believe we can have the six tractors delivered so that our people can engage in meaningful agriculture to uplift their respective livelihoods. You have told me about the health centres established by the Church and you want the health care givers to be on government pay roll by which is a welcome idea. The health centres are serving our people and we have no problem with having the medical personnel getting on the government pay roll,” Museveni said.
“On the tax waivers and procurement processes, the President said he will continue consulting on the matter and see how the Church can be helped. I have helped the Church in different projects including that of Namugongo. This in not for only the Catholic Church but I have intervened for all the Anglican including the Muslims,” Mr Museveni who handed over Shs50m to the Church said on Sunday.