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URA impounds UBC vehicles over Shs 15bn tax arrears

Just days after appealing to have Shs 400 billion tax arrears owed by several government entities written off, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has impounded five vehicles belonging to the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) over unpaid tax.

The vehicles were impounded over tax arrears amounting to Shs 14.9 billion. URA public affairs manager Ian Rumanyika says the vehicles were impounded to compel UBC to clear arrears in value added tax (VAT), withholding tax, And Pay as You Earn (PAYE), which have accumulated over a period of nine years.  He, however, hastens to add that negotiations are ongoing between the two government entities.

Aerial view of UBC offices

"UBC is already in discussion with URA, but the taxes have been over a period of time and some Memorandum of Understanding between the two have not been fulfilled," Rumanyika says.

UBC public relations officer Jane Kasumba equally says that says the management of UBC is working on a way forward. UBC is the public broadcaster of Uganda.

It was formed as a result of the "Uganda Broadcasting Corporation Act, 2004", which merged the operations of Uganda Television and Radio Uganda.

UBC operates several radio and television channels spread across Uganda. UBC has been struggling to attract funding, in 2016, government bailed UBC out with Shs 20 billion to revive the media empire, however in 2017, its staff went without salaries for over three months, forcing them to strike.

A UBC review committee headed by Dr Peter Mwesige, the executive director of the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) recommended a total overhaul of the broadcaster. The committee noted that UBC was mismanaged and underfunded among others.

UBC has started getting public confidence back following the appointment of Nada Anderson, a Serbian national who has lived in Uganda for the last 15 years.

Anderson came with immediate reforms including sanctioning balanced coverage of political events in the country. UBC has often been accused of giving little or no coverage at all to political activities deemed anti-government. 

Early this year, UBC was ordered to pay former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye Shs 80 million after the broadcaster failed to run his campaign adverts ahead of the 2011 general elections despite him paying over Shs 21 million. 

Comments

+3 #1 rubangakene 2018-04-09 23:44
UBC should change. It is a tribal and complacent institution.

Sack the whole lot of 'hangers on' and train apprentices on the job; technicians, operators, middle and senior management now!

Kenya has an established college of Mass Media and Communications so can we.
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+2 #2 Phalanch 2018-04-10 00:30
URA, UBC !!!!! We have heard these stories before all is nosense full of lies and cold blooded thieves fooling themselves but NOT Ugandans.

None of above belong to Uganda but to a dictator . What belonged to Uganda was sold off long time for a his personal gain , UEB, UTC, UCB UCMB the list goes on .however

To ma follew Ugandans , Times like these we need to do our own navigations & that is doing whatever it takes not to pay to this silent killer b'se there is nothing in return , the roads and hosiptals we see are all funded by foreign aid which aid will be paid back by all means so what's the point?
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+2 #3 kabayekka 2018-04-10 09:32
The bloody institution was hijacked to Kyankwazi political college.

The college should pay the wages and the expensive equipment plus the transport bills.

What sort of negotiations are there to consider in terms of national established taxation. URA of recent made an auction of all goods that had failed to pay tax at its headquarters.
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