Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Gen. Kahinda Otaffire has called on Ugandans to understand that government often has to use coercion to get most of its work down.
A government that is unable to force its citizens to do as it says, the minister noted, is not a government.
Otafiire, while responding to calls for rescission of the Mobile Money tax, during a conference in Mbarara, said government doesn’t take instructions from the people.
“Government is coercion,” he said. “If you don’t have the means of coercion; if you can’t coerce people to do things the way you want, then you are not a government.”
“If you want us to run government and run it efficiently and render services, you have to pay taxes when we ask you to.”
Following government orders, according the minister, may often come off as unpleasant, but the citizens have to do it for the government to keep running.
“I don’t know how many people here will voluntarily pay (taxes)? Even me when they start saying ‘taxation,’ I will hide in my car tax. It is not pleasant to people.”
For the section of Ugandans who feel pressed by the 1% tax on Mobile Money transactions, which is yet to be revised by parliament; Minister Otafiire advised them to work harder to pay this tax. This, he said, is the nature of humanity.”
“My message is hard work,” he said.
“That is what distinguishes us from animals. When animals are challenged in nature they adapt; when it’s cold they grow fur when its warm they lose fur. Mankind does not grow fur, he does not adapt to nature. Mankind solves the problem.”
The minister said the problem with Ugandans and most Africans is that when they are faced with problems, they resort to praying to God instead of working to solve them.
“Stop bothering the gentleman (God),” he said. “The gentleman gave you eyes, ears, hands, head and brains, and you still demand money from him. He gave you all the tools to make wealth to solve your problems; why are you disturbing him? Asked Kahinda