Members of Parliament who voted against the proposed Mobile Money tax have accused their National Resistance Movement (NRM) colleagues of cutting a deal with president Museveni to maintain the Mobile Money tax.
After sensing that government was going to lose on the amendment of 0.5 % excise duty tax levied on mobile money, NRM legislators were summoned to state house Entebbe to obtain a unified position regarding the mobile money tax.
During the meeting, legislators (according to our source) were promised 15 millions each to vote “No” opposing the scrapping off of 0.5% as proposed by MP Wilfred Niwagaba last week when the bill had reached committee stage.
In the vote, 164 MPs agreed to maintain the levy on mobile money while 124 voted to have it scrapped. A total of 288 legislators were present and voted.
Following the vote, Iganga Municipality legislator Peter Mugema alias Panadol, expressed displeasure that his fellow NRM colleagues had voted for the money instead of the matter.
“Its unfortunate that my fellow NRM members were hoodwinked by the party chairperson to vote against the amendment of scrapping the 0.5% and were promised shs.15 million. Its really unfortunate that they have voted against Hon Nuwagaba’s proposal.”
Hon. Luttamaguzi Ssemakula (Nakaseke south); “I have lost hope in this parliament and I call on all voters to use this opportunity to gauge the people they voted, I have reliable information that NRM members were given shs.3 million as fuel and promised 15 shs. millions to oppose the amendment of scrapping off the 0.5% tax.”
We contacted the government chief whip (Ruth Nankabirwa) regarding the allegations but she did not reply any of our many calls.
The tax proposal presented in the Excise Duty Amendment Bill (2018) No. 2 seeks to reduce the current one per cent levy on all mobile money transactions to at least 0.5 per cent in line with President Museveni’s directive in July.
The bill which has been passed by parliament will see government collecting a tune of Shs115 billion to fund part of its budget.