UNAPD asks for tax exemptions on para-sport equipment

Friday January 24 2020

Equipment. UNAPD executive director Apollo

Equipment. UNAPD executive director Apollo Mukasa, Danish Agro Connect’s Titus Kasujja hand over the crutches to UPDF’s Sam Kiwanuka. Photo By A.N SSEMUGABI 

By ABDUL-NASSER SSEMUGABI

When Richard Ayella won a surprise bronze medal at the 2018 Africa World Shooting Para Championship in Tunisia, the wounded soldier from Mubende Rehabilitation Centre begun dreaming of representing his country at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
But due to inadequate facilitation and lack of proper training equipment, Ayella has never returned to any competition since and his Paralympic dream is well shattered.
His is the dilemma of most para-athletes across the country. But a dilemma that can partly be solved by tax exemptions on para-sport equipment from overseas donors, according to Apollo Mukasa, the executive director of Uganda National Action on Physical Disability.
“Much still needs to be done to interest people with disabilities into sports but little can be done without equipment,” Mukasa noted as he handed over 50 pairs of crutches and five javelins to Mubende Rehabilitation Centre chief in Kanyanya Tuesday.
“But we are still constrained by high taxes, so I appeal to government to reduce or exempt all taxes on para-sport equipment donations.”
Mukasa’s concern was echoed by Titus Kasujja of Danish Agro Connect, the initial donor.
But Maj. Gen. Sam Kiwanuka, the MRC chief, advised the donors to inform the tax authorities in time before shipping that the equipment is not for profit.
He also welcomed the donation and promised its “immediate impact on my wounded veterans scattered in Mubende, Kyankwanzi and Ntungamo barracks.”
The war casualties in Mubende have made strides in disability sport especially amputee soccer and athletics. Last October, Lance Corporal Sam Mubajje, the first Ugandan para-athlete at World Military Games, won gold medals in the IT3 100m and 400m races in Wuhan, China. The one-armed sprinter, who is also a gifted goalkeeper, is now eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

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