President Yoweri Museveni has appointed John Musinguzi Rujoki, as the new Commissioner General for Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
Rujoki, who has been a Senior Presidential Advisor on ICT and Investment replaces Doris Akol, who has been at the helm of the tax body for the last six years.
Museveni annouced the changes on Sunday, March 29, through his social media platforms.
Rujoki is not a very known public figure known in the taxation circles but he once served as head of the finance and audit department in the Special Revenue Protection Services, a military unit attached to Uganda Revenue Authority, at the time it was headed by Gen Kale Kayihura.
He is a son to Rev. Canon Rujoki from Nyabushozi and a former deputy Head Prefect of Ntare School.
Musinguzi holds a Master’s degree in Computing and Information Systems of the University of Greenwich and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics of Makerere University.
His appointment comes at a time when the country’s tax revenue has taken a hit with collections lagging behind.
For the six months to December 2019, URA had a tax deficit of Shs 700 billion, and, the deficit could go up to Shs 3 trillion due to the effects of the coronavirus disease.
Akol, 50, was appointed in 2014 after the expiry of Allen Kagina who had served out her two five-year terms.
Despite Akol’s attempts to increase the country’s tax basket, her tenure was, however, dotted with a controversy of the presidential handshake, where officials who won a tax case in London against oil firm Heritage convinced the president to pay them Shs 6 billion as a “thank you” token.
It came to be known as a presidential handshake. A court decision last month said there was nothing wrong with the payment.
In an e-mail to staff, Akol said today “It’s been an absolute honour and privilege to be your team leader for five years and five months. Thank you for loving me and for being loyal to me.”
She later posted a farewell message on the official Twitter handle of the URA Commissioner-General.
The President also appointed Dr Michael Atingi-Ego as the new Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda. Dr Atingi-Ego replaces Louis Kasekende whose contract expired in January and was not renewed.
Dr Michael Atingi-Ego gas served as the Deputy Director, Africa Department at IMF and has also previsously served as the Executive Director for Research at Bank of Uganda. He Holds a BSc, Economics from Makerere University, MSc, Econ, from Cardiff Business School, University of Wales, UK and a PhD in Economics from University of Liverpool.
The change comes just two days after the Bank of Uganda Board of Directors picked Dr Adam Mugume to be acting as the Deputy Governor while awaiting a substantive appointment to be made by the President.
The new appointees now await vetting by the appointments committee of Parliament