By Kagenyi Lukka
Recently, the country with faced with a very contentious debate on mobile money. This followed government’s decision to impose 0.5% tax on mobile money transactions through what was famously referred to as the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2018 No 2.
Parliament voted on October 2nd 2018 in a heated session that saw several NRM parties MP’s break the party line and voted against the introduction of the tax. At the end of voting by show-of-hands, 164 Members of parliament had voted for the tax while 124 didn’t support the introduction of the tax.
Amidst the highly polarizing debate, most members of parliament that opposed the tax claimed to be speaking on behalf of their constituents (call them common wanainchi) who transact through mobile money on a daily basis. Mobile money is thus a common man’s bank
Traders, Agents and other people that use this service publicly lambasted parliament, citing drop in business, profit and loss of jobs after passing of the vexed tax.
While the common man’s tears were understandable, it is undeniable that some section of people in our society may be using mobile money to do risky and dubious transactions.
Louis Kasekende, the under-heat deputy governor’s mobile money transaction records don’t only raise improbable questions but also are an insult to the poor man who would use mobile money to transfer or receive small amounts such as Ugx 10000, 20000 or 50,000.
Louis Kasekende is under an investigation by the Inspector general of government related to his declared wealth.
His exposed mobile money records show that he made transactions of over Shs897.060 million through the mobile money platform for the period June 30, 2017 to March 30, 2018, showing how noxiously& debatably rich the deputy governor is.
The documents that have been widely circulated clearly show that through phone number/AC 25675222250*, Kasekende transacts about 3.3 million on a daily.
The documents further show that the questionably rich deputy governor received over Shs443.808 million from his family and his farm manager Bagonza Kasekende on 075959182*.
In the same period, Louis made payments of over Shs305.734 million (2017) and about Shs136.965 million (2018) that largely went towards clearing utility bills as well as contributions to weddings, church fundraising, building materials, and dry cleaning services.
The document further shows that 75 per cent of the total receipts, where of 2017 and they increased in January 2018 about 52 per cent.
It should be recalled that Louis Kasekende’s close ally, Justine Bagyenda, the embattled former executive director for supervision of commercial banks was also found to be making huge transactions through mobile money which provoked an apology from a telecommunications company.
She had made transactions worth Shs499,428,906 with in a period of three years. However, the only difference with Louis is that, the latter did more than the same between 2017 and 2018.
From being cited at the epicenter of defunct commercial banks, to attempting to block the audit, swanky properties and now fat mobile money transactions, the unbalancing equation for the deputy governor’s riches and official salary can only astound the public.
Who will save the sinking situation?