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Mobile Money Tax Removal: MPs Vow to Soldier On

Members of Parliament pushing for the removal of mobile money tax have vowed to stick to their guns despite President Yoweri Museveni’s suspected attempt to dissuade the majority NRM members.

Museveni on Monday summoned the ruling National Resistance Movement Caucus to State House Entebbe ahead of the expected Tuesday vote on the excise duty.

The Nakaseke South Member of Parliament, Lutamaguzi Semakula and John Babtist Nambeshe of Manjiya told journalists at Parliament hours before the NRM Caucus sitting, they are not moved by the new development but still determined to rally their colleagues to rid the tax.

“The President is trying to compromise colleagues from the NRM. We are resolute and ready to push until the mobile money tax is removed,” said Lutamaguzi.

The MPs noted that the independence of Parliament was put at stake last week when the house failed to realize the required quorum of 154 to MPs to vote on the matter. They alleged that some NRM MPs were mobilized out of the house to purposely fail the vote.

On Thursday the house prematurely adjourned after failing to get the required quorum (numbers) of 154 MPs to vote on the tax originally projected to realize Shs 115bn.

The Mobile Money amendment Bill was tabled on the floor for the second reading. Two reports for revision and removal of mobile money tax emerged from the Finance Committee which scrutinized the Bill.

The Majority Report resolved for the tax to be revised to 0.5 percent and maintained in the law but the Minority Report signed by 3 legislators including Lutamaguzi, Patrick Isiagi of Kachumbala and Kagoma county’s Moses Walyomu resolved for the total removal of the tax.

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A large number of MPs adopted the Minority Report and asked for a vote to remove mobile money tax.

Lack of quorum forced the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah who chaired the house to adjourned for 15 minutes to enable more MPs to join plenary.

Interestingly, numbers instead reduced when the house resumed with very few MPs on the NRM side making the matte to be deferred.

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