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The 4thMeeting of the 5th Session of the 3rd East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is taking place in Kampala, Uganda, from January 16th, up until January 26th, 2017.  In his opening statement   the Speaker of EALA Rt.Hon Daniel Fred Kidega pointed out that over the two-weeks, the Assembly will consider among other issues the EPA  in view of the February 2017 Summit to conclude on the matter i.e. to sign or not to sign. Hon. Kidega stressed that*As an Assembly, we want the EPAs handled with utmost care taking into consideration our quest for industrialization so that a suitable decision that takes into consideration what is best for the region is achieved"'.  *

SEATINI-Uganda is to pay a courtesy call to the EALA Speaker on Friday 27th January 2017 purposely to present its position on the EPA and propose a way forward. Full statement  pdf SEATINI Statement on EPAs Inherent Dangers and Way Forward (238 KB)  

Income Tax Bill 2016 was signed into law on 19th November, 2016 by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the president of Uganda. The new Insertion under the Income Tax bill by MPs under Sec.21 ''(qa) now reads ''employment income of person as a Member of Parliament, except salary'' and thus grants a tax exemption on MP's emoluments and allowances, adding them to the list of special groups including Police men, soldiers and prisons officers, that are exempt from paying tax on their allowances. This move by MPs' to exempt themselves from paying tax on their allowances goes against the principles of tax justice. The sustainability of any economy requires that the state has sufficient revenue to fund service delivery needs essential to economic welfare and enable a degree of equity. This exemption totalling to over UGX 49billion will affect revenue generation at a critical when the budget 2017/18 is projected to have shortfall of over UGX 4483.44bn. In any case parliament is already a huge financial burden on the Ugandan taxpayer estimated at over UGX 138bn annually. This move will set a precedent where other members of the public will also demand for an exemption on their allowances SEATINI Uganda finds it very unfair that the President of Uganda has accepted that MPs exempt themselves from taxes on their allowances despite the low tax base. This means that the burden will be shifted to the already burdened population who are earning very low incomes. This does not in anyway rhyme with the Income Tax Law which is progressive in nature; the more you earn, the more you pay. MPs should be exemplary for they were chosen by their people to serve and not to maximize opportunities available for their personal benefit. Therefore, we urge all citizens of Uganda to continue their quest to demand for tax justice. We also urge Ugandans to hold their area MP accountable since the MPs have justified the exemption to enable them have more engagements in their constituencies. For more Information contact: SEATINI-Uganda P.O. 3138, Kampala, Uganda Tel: +256-41-4-540856 www.seatiniuganda.org This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

monica CSO

Monica Malega, Southern East African Trade Information and Negotiation Institute of Uganda: "Our minds have been enriched with ideas, information, statistics, strategies and visions."

The African Development Bank (AfDB)’s consultations with East African civil society organizations (CSOs) concluded on December 9 in Nairobi, Kenya, with participants saying that they are now better equipped to deliver results. 

For Caroline Wahome of the Kenya-Based Hivos-People Unlimited said the workshop was very useful. “The meeting has helped us to seize a better picture of the African Development Bank’s work in various countries. The presentation on procurement was about access to information. The procurement rules and procedures need to be taken to grassroots people, and to CSOs located in rural areas, even though they may not have the possibility to bid.”

Speaking at the closing ceremony on behalf of participating CSOs, Monica Malega of the Southern East African Trade Information and Negotiation Institute of Uganda, said, “These regional consultations are an outstanding example. Our minds have been enriched with ideas, information, statistics, strategies and visions. The workshop has provided a very useful platform to exchange information, share lessons from our own countries.”

Providing CSOs with as much information as possible was one of the objective of the regional meeting. To fulfil this objective, the meeting saw presentations from Bank experts on a variety of topics such as environmental safeguards, legal aspects of Bank interventions, the Bank’s new Development and Business Delivery Model, procurement, as well as presentations on agriculture, Jobs for Youth, and energy and climate change.

For Eric Paul LeBlanc, AfDB Principal Legal Counsel, it was important to inform CSOs on the Bank’s legal mandate, so that they get a better understanding of its development business. “Although the Bank usually finances projects with sovereign entities, such as countries, CSOs may get involved indirectly. They can act as the watchdogs or the social conscience in projects by participating in consultations, such as those under the Integrated Safeguards System. They can also intervene in the Independent Review Mechanism,” he added.