President Yoweri Museveni has said he actually benefited from East African customs systems which was too inefficient to allow him smuggle guns across borders during the NRA bush war in Luweero jungles.
He was Saturday commissioning the new “URA Tower” at the Uganda Revenue Authority Headquarters in Nakawa, Kampala.
At 22 floors, it’s the tallest building in Uganda and its construction was fully funded by the government of Uganda at cost of Shs139bn.
Museveni warned URA Commissioner General Doris Akol saying the job of URA is to facilitate the growth of the economy, not to stall it with bureaucracies and corruption.
“About the economy, where the URA is a key player, I must admit that as a guerrilla leader, I benefited from the inefficiencies of the East African customs systems then, which enabled me smuggle guns across borders.”
He added: “I had collapsed government agencies when I was smuggling my guns. One time, I brought 12 machine guns from Tanzania through Kenya and Malaba to Kampala. I regret that.”
Museveni said the inefficiencies were facilitated by a mixture of technological incapacity but also the human resource due to illiteracy and corruption.
“It is why when we came to power, I went on an integrity hunting mission to fix the loopholes,” Museveni noted.
He went on: “It was integrity and patriotism that we considered as we staffed and set the foundation of URA and because of this, our country’s revenue collection has tremendously improved.”
Museveni said the struggle to improve still stands.
“As a nation, there are no qualms on the growth and improvement of the human resource, but we insist on integrity and patriotism as well.”
He said anybody that falls short on those standards is dispensable.