Parliament yesterday voted to support the proposal to slap 0.5% tax on mobile money transactions during a dramatic sitting that stretched for more than four hours.
The votes for MPs in support of the move were 164 against 124 for those who were opposed.
However voting took place amidst allegations that NRM MPs had been promised Shs 15 million each if they supported the proposal.
The promise was allegedly made on Monday during a heated NRM Caucus meeting at State House Entebbe, sources said.
After the vote, Peter Mugema, an NRM MP for Iganga municipality told The Nile Post: “It’s unfortunate that my fellow NRM members were hoodwinked by the chairperson of the NRM to vote against the amendment of scrapping the 0.5% and were promised Shs 15 millions.”
Mugema’s claims were corroborated by a number of NRM MPs who attended the caucus meeting. Some however preferred to remain anonymous.
One of them, a legislator from Buganda said: ” It’s pity that my fellow legislators have betrayed their voters especially the youth and school going children by voting in line with the party position after being promised the Shs 15 million.”
The proposal had been put forward by Ndorwa County East MP, Wilfred Niwagaba who said the tax on mobile money will hamper the service and lead to financial exclusion.
Some NRM MPs like Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga and Mwine Mpaka voted against the tax in Parliament yesterday.
The proposal presented in the Excise Duty Amendment Bill (2018) No. 2 sought to reduce the current 1% levy on all mobile money transactions to at least 0.5 per cent in line with President Museveni’s directive in July. Opposition MPs were totally opposed to the idea of a tax on mobile money.
Government hopes to collect Shs 115 billion as revenue, this financial year, from the tax.