The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has impounded 50 fittings for pipes meant for Masindi district at Entebbe Customs.
Alfred Dokonyeri, the project officer at Water Aid Uganda implementing the Hand Pump Improvement Project (HIP), explains that the materials were transported from the United Kingdom (UK), and some of the materials were bought by their office in the UK, but the fittings were designed in India and supplied to their UK office.
Dokonyeri added that the materials were then transported to Uganda through DHL, stressing that the materials were impounded at URA Entebbe Customs over unpaid taxes.
The water officer asserts that this prompted them to pay a tax of seven million shillings, yet the materials were bought for about 13 million shillings.
Dokonyeri says that though they have cleared the taxes, they need to know why the government is taxing them, yet they are a non-profit-making organization but support the local community and the government through the provision of clean and safe water.
He says they are expecting to get another consignment of the same materials from their supporting partners at the end of this month, but they are worried about being taxed again.
We couldn’t get a comment from URA officials; however, according to the Masindi district LC V chairperson, Cosmas Byaruhanga, the government shouldn’t tax such materials since they are not profit-making but aim at proving clean and safe water for the communities.
He says they are expecting 80 boreholes to be worked on in different villages in the district through the Hand Pump Improvement Project (HIP).
Last week, 19 hand pump mechanics from the two districts of Kabarole and Masindi underwent a 10-day training on the installation and maintenance of hand water pumps in their respective areas.