Parliament demands criteria for bailouts

In Summary
  • Companies include Atiak Sugar Factory, the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort and ROKO Construction Limited.
Hon.Medard Ssegona during the committe
Image: courtesy

Legislators on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises have tasked the finance ministry to present documentation on the criteria used in granting bailouts to companies in financial crises.

According to the committee chairperson, Hon. Medard Sseggona, companies belonging to foreign investors have mostly benefitted from bailouts compared to companies belonging to Ugandan investors.

“What is the legal and policy framework on which you base to determine who should benefit from your bailouts and who should not? You are helping AYA but you are not helping Sembule who has invested in the development of your technology and skills,” says Sseggona.

This while in a meeting between committee members and officials from the ministry led by finance minister, Hon. Matia Kasaija who has been tasked to present a schedule of all companies in which the government has bought shares, and appraise the committee with details.

He cites companies including Atiak Sugar Factory, the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, and ROKO Construction Limited.

“We want to know what we have injected, what the worth of our investment is in terms of shareholding, and our level of participation in managing these companies. We must be able to reap back our money,” Sseggona adds.

Hon. Timothy Batuwa (FDC, Jinja South Division West) has also tasked the minister to appraise the committee on the status of companies that receive tax waivers from the government.

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija
Image: courtesy

“On that list, let us have Bujagali Energy Limited. Year after year, they seek tax waivers and we want to know what benefit the government has derived from this move,” Batuwa says.

Sseggona adds that the ministry ought to show the monetary contribution of companies receiving tax waivers, to the economy over the last three years.

Kasaija in response notes that money for approved budgets is released on a timely basis, and based on the cash available.


On queries by the committee about URA’s inability to assess and collect taxes on gold exports, Kasaija clarifies that in May 2024, the Minister for Energy and Mineral Development issued a statutory instrument imposing a levy of US$200 per kilogramme of processed gold exported.

“URA started the assessment and collection accordingly. From 01 July 2021 to 30 June 2023, a total of 65,135 kilogrammes of processed gold were exported and the total tax assessed was Shs47.28 billion. Of this, Shs2.17 billion was paid, leaving Shs45.1 billion in outstanding tax arrears,” Kasaija says.

He adds that for the period between 24 May 2024 and 27 June 2024, a total of 4,006 kilogrammes of refined gold was exported and taxes amounting to Shs3.114 billion were collected.