Masaka’s Bishop Kaggwa speaks against Facebook, WhatsApp tax

LILLIAN N. MUTYABA

The highlight of Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa’s Easter homily was President Yoweri Museveni’s proposal to tax social media users.

Kaggwa who led Easter prayers at Our Lady of Sorrows Cathedral Kitovu, the seat of Masaka of Masaka Catholic diocese told President Museveni that it is better to fight the growing inflation than introducing unrealistic taxes.

“Recently,the President blamed [Uganda Revenue Authority] for the low revenue collections, but, is [URA] to blame?” Bishop Kaggwa wondered.

Bishop Kaggwa preaching to the congregation during Easter celebrations

In a March 12 letter to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, Museveni criticised URA for failing to identify new sources of revenue which has failed to grow the country’s revenue collections.

He therefore suggested the introduction of taxes on social media messaging Apps notably Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber among others.

Kaggwa wondered whether such a tax will help the country get out of its debt traps other than making the citizenry hate the government.

He called for trustworthiness and urged the leaders to act by what God teaches.

“If the whole country would ressurect with Jesus,there would be no inflation, sexual harrasment, killings among others,” he said.

He also castigated government for the fake Hepatitis B drugs on the market which he said is a confirmation of the market being flooded with counterfeit products.

“If Hepatitis B drugs have also been faked, why wouldn’t other traders do the same?” Kaggwa wondered.

CRIME PREVENTERS

Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga added a political ingredient in the Easter mass speaking of an opposition plan to block the planned referendum to extend the presidential term to seven years.

Mpuuga said that once the Referendum Bill is tabled in Parliament, the opposition will resurrect the same efforts they employed against last year’s amendment of the Constitution.

Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga kisses Bishop Kaggwa’s ring

He also attacked President Museveni over his recent donation of Shs 1.3bn to crime preventers which money, Mpuuga said, would be used to organise LC 1 elections.

Masaka Resident District Commissioner Lt Joe Walusimbi told the congregation of a resolution not to arraign before court in Masaka any of the suspects that have been arrested in connection to the killings in Masaka sub-region.

“We have tried to do our best but the hypocrisy among our fellow leaders has put us down” Walusinlmbi said.

The police recently handed over some of the suspects to the army and were subsquently transferred to the Military Police barracks at Makindye in Kampala waiting to be charged before the Military court martial.

This is in response to the escape of two prime suspects in the New Year’s day night attacks in Bukomansimbi that claimed five lives including that of a retired senior police officer.

Musa Galiwango and Muhammad Kiddawalime escaped from the Chief Magistrate’s court on March 1 at the beginning of a session in which they were supposed to be committed to the High Court.

“We shall not tolerate carelessness of that kind,we have made so many arrests but most of the suspects are released without trial,” walusimbi said.