The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Health has appealed to parliament and the general public to help her mobilize UGX 9 billion meant to clear the taxes levied on a fleet of brand new vehicles procured using part of the money which was donated by Ugandans in the 2021 lockdown.
The request was made on Wednesday at parliament where Ministry of Health officials led by Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng faced off with Members of Parliament. However, MPs expressed their fury with Atwine’s prayer as they wondered how pickups bought with donations would again be taxed by URA.
Hon. Abdu Katuntu described the prayer as a ridiculous idea. “… It’s not being smart, it’s being stupid because first of all do you have that money (9b) in your budget?,” he asked. “First of all the public debate about these pick ups is vulgar. If they ever heard that there’s even this, you just imagine!,” he added.
Atwine insists that the vehicles shall only be released upon clearance of the URA. “But this time we don’t know why they said we need 9 billion to clear for the taxes. So that why we are stuck,” Atwine said.
In the same meeting, Dr. Aceng said they may not wait to vaccinate half of the population as earlier intended. “We cannot wait for 22 million people to be vaccinated when even the source of the vaccine is not clear. Similarly, we have to start opening up,” Aceng remarked.