A month after four of its senior officials resigned, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has shuffled 211 staff under its customs department.
The customs department is responsible for collecting duties and taxes imposed on imported and less commonly exported goods. It also controls the flow of people, animals, goods and hazardous items in and out of the country.
According to a memo from Mr Abel Kagumire, the commissioner for customs, 211 employees will have different positions within the department effective today.
“Manager customs planning is tasked to facilitate this smooth deployment process before July 1, 2020,” the memo reads in part.
Among those transferred are managers, supervisors and customs officers.
The customs department was previously headed by Mr Dicksons Kateshumbwa for five years. Mr Kateshumbwa has since resigned from URA to contest in the forthcoming 2021 parliamentary elections.
Speaking to Daily Monitor, Mr Vincent Seruma, the URA spokesperson, dispelled any connection between Mr Kateshumbwa’s resignation and the reshuffle.
“We normally transfer our staff, it is a normal transfer. We always transfer people, especially at the turn of a new financial year. We do it to allow them acquire different positions and skills. Secondly, all staff have to be given an exposure to different conditions,” Mr Seruma said.
He added: “We are going to transfer the entire organisation actually. All departments are going to face transfer. It has nothing to do with Mr Kateshumbwa.”
While addressing the nation after the 2020/2021 Budget reading, President Museveni said he had now cleaned the corruption problem at URA.
Referring to the commissioners as a crowd, the President said the group was stealing instead of serving the people.
“There has been a lot of corruption in URA. That one I have cleaned. We’re begging, begging as if they are doing us a favour instead of working for their country. Those young people who were given a great opportunity to serve their country, they were busy doing other things. So we have dispersed them, that URA crowd,” Mr Museveni said.
The new URA Commissioner General, Mr John Musinguzi Rujoki, has since vowed to eliminate corruption at the Authority.