Musinguzi Rujoki: The man wielding the big axe at URA

New URA Commisioner General John Musinguzi Rujoki. Courtesy photo.

What you need to know:

  • Senior managers at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) are restless after President Museveni ordered a cleanup, targeting what he believes to be a syndicated corruption involving senior tax collectors.

To become commissioner general of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Ms Doris Akol honed her skills at the national tax body as URA commissioner for legal and board affairs. But for Mr Musinguzi Rujoki, her successor, his climb to the top seat at URA has been a somersault.

“By virtue of powers granted to me by the Constitution, I have appointed John Musinguzi Rujoki as the new Commissioner General of URA. This appointment takes immediate effect,” President Museveni posted on his social media pages on Sunday, March 29. By that tweet, Ms Akol, who had served five years and half , was relieved of her duties as Mr Rujoki took to the wheel.

Mr Rujoki’s appointment kicked up mixed reactions from the public, including digging up a former court case where he testified against four-time presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye.

On Sunday, March 29, shortly after Mr Rujoki was appointed by President Museveni, Dr Besigye revisted the incident on his twitter account, recounting how the new URA boss had testified against him in the trumped-up case of rape in 2006.

“At the most critical time in the 2006 election campaigns, I was being tried for rape. The trial started soon after I secured court bail. I had been nominated [to run for president] while in Luzira prison, charged with (on top of rape) treason, terrorism, and illegal possession of guns,” he wrote.

“The trial was concluded towards the end of the campaigns but the historic judgment by Justice JB Katutsi was delivered long after the elections. This case has come back to me vividly after learning of the appointment of a Mr John Musinguzi Rujoki as the new Commissioner General of URA,” he added.

Mr Rujoki, the 6th URA boss, who took oath of office on April 2, had previously served in URA as head of Finance and Audit Department in the Special Revenue Protection Services.

The 47-year-old is a celebrated mathematician, who went to Ntare School before joining Makerere University to undertake a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, before proceeding to the University of Greenwich, UK, where he graduated with a Master in Computing and Information Systems.

A man of many hats, Mr Rujoki is the board chairperson of the NITA-U and Senior Presidential Advisor on ICT since 2015.