President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday appointed John Musinguzi Rujoki (pictured) as the new Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) with immediate effect.
Musinguzi replaces Doris Akol who has had stellar performance at URA for the last five years.
Akol grew revenue collections from Shs9.9 trillion in 2014/15 to Shs16.6 trillion in 2018/19-cumulatively collecting Shs65trillion.
However, despite the impressive performance, President Museveni still believed that the tax agency could have performed much better if it weren’t for revenue leakages arising from some well connected senior officials in URA.
Sources indicate that Museveni replaced Akol after she failed to bring to book these unpatriotic officials.
URA’s top job is one of the most difficult ones as the Commissioner General has an arduous task of collecting tax revenue for the government to spend! Failure to hit revenue collection targets puts the tax body and its leader on the spotlight.
Musinguzi at a glance
So, who is Musinguzi, the man chosen not only to steer URA to another level, but stamp out corruption tendencies at the tax agency?
Will he deliver up to the President’s expectations?
In this article, we’ll reveal what you probably didn’t know about the new URA Commissioner General.
Until his appointment as URA boss, Musinguzi was the Senior Presidential Adviser, Investment and ICT.
He has also been the Chairperson of the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) Board of Directors.
Whereas some people think is an outside in tax matters, Musinguzi previously served URA’s Special Revenue Protection Services as Head, Finance and Audit.
Born 46 years ago in Rushere village, Kiruhura District, Musinguzi holds a Master’s degree in Computing and Information Systems from the University of Greenwich and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Makerere University.
Many social media ‘commentators’ have associated him with the ruling NRM government after his role in the botched rape case against Dr Kizza Besigye in 2006-utlimately sidelining his competencies and strengths that can take URA to a higher level.
Musinguzi is a son of Verina and late Canon John Rujoki (who passed on in 2018) of Kacumbiro Village-Rushere Kenshunga Sub-County, Nyabushozi County in Kiruhura district.
We have learnt that he is a second born of seven siblings-three and four sisters. However, the big brother died and Musinguzi automatically became the heir.
Business Focus has also learnt that Musinguzi is married to Christine Musinguzi and the couple has four children-two sons and two daughters.
He is also a devoted Christian at All Saints Cathedral Nakasero where he is a member of the Fathers’ Union and Parishioner with great passion in the Children’s Church.
People who know Musinguzi told Business Focus that he’s “humble, diligent and knowledgeable.”
“I know him as an incorruptible man,” a source that has known him for sometime said.
Sources also say that he is a prayerful person, something that was inculcated in him by his late father- Mzee Rujoki, who was a Canon and an elder at Church of Uganda’s St. Emmanuel Cathedral Rushere.
“He is annoyingly calm, brutally honest, dedicated, good listener, prayerful, great manager and excellent leader,” another source, said of the new URA boss.
Our sources also told us that Musinguzi is also well connected. One of his allies is Lieutenant Colonel Edith Nakalema, the Head of State House Anti-corruption Unit.
Sources say Nakalema will no doubt be of help to Musinguzi in his fight against corruption in URA.
He is also an ally of Major General Steven Sabiiti Muzeyi, the Deputy Inspector General of Police and Brigadier John Namanya of Immigration.
Ground Is Laid
Musinguzi will not start from scratch. Apart from reining-in on corrupt officials in URA that President Museveni has severally complained about, there’s almost everything in place for the new URA boss to succeed.
Under the stewardship of Akol, URA recently launched a new Corporate Plan 2020/21-2024/25 that will see Uganda finance a greater part of the National Development Plan (NDP) III aspirations if well implemented.
This is the forth corporate plan in a 14-year span since restructuring of URA.
Under the new plan, URA’s Mission reads: We provide an environment that delivers a delightful experience in revenue services and business facilitation, while its Vision reads: To be THE centre of excellence and innovation in revenue administration.
The new URA structure is divided into 7 levels (ranks); Commissioner General, Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners, Managers, Supervisors, Officers and support staff.
The corporate plan 2020/21 – 2024/25 is premised on the need to develop an engaged citizenry that will enhance taxpaying culture by engaging taxpayers through productive partnerships, leveraging technology, data and innovative staff.
The Corporate Plan puts forward robust Strategies and initiatives to be implemented in order to promote a taxpaying culture among all Ugandans that will enable the country to attain 16% Tax to GDP by 2025.
During this period, URA wants additional revenue of Shs12 trillion by 2024/25.
According to the plan, revenue collections are projected to grow from Shs16.62 Trillion in FY 2018/19 to Shs28.25 Trillion in FY 2024/25 representing about 70% growth in revenue over the period (Additional Shs11.63 Trillion).
In 2019/20, URA is projected to collect Shs18.19 trillion in net tax revenue, Shs19.9 trillion in 2020/21, Shs21.7 trillion in 2021/22, Shs23.75 trillion in 2022/23 and Shs25.9 trillion in 2023/24.
Against the above background, it’s now time for Musinguzi to shine at URA.
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