By Isaac Tugume
Nakawa: Officials of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) on Friday evening hosted journalists in Uganda to a networking cocktail dinner, which was aimed at giving media practitioners an opportunity to interact with URA staff.
The event dubbed ‘URA Media Unwind Cocktail’, held at URA towers in Nakawa, was aimed at unwinding the past year and ushering in the New Year 2020, with enhancement of the relationship between URA and the Media fraternity to which they testified that it made their work alot more easier mobilizing tax payers using media houses.
The MC of the event Solomon Kimbugwe, who heads the URA online media team, kicked off the Cocktail with a prayer from Jackie Arinda, a manager at Smart 24, a new TV station.
Thereafter, Mr.Ian Rumanyika, Manager public and corporate affairs and Acting Assistant Commissioner Public and Corporate Affairs addressed the gathering and started by thanking staff from all the media houses that attended the event.
“I thank you all members of the media fraternity that have attended this event and I would like to take this moment to assure you that we do not take your presence here for granted, because we highly appreciate it,” Rumanyika said.
He added that “We appreciate the power of the fourth estate because we know you can influence a lot of things, including change in government and the taxation policy. We are glad to partner with the media because this partnership is worthwhile and we seek to maintain it.”
He also revealed that “As URA we know that taxation is not simple, reason why we need the media to inform the nation about it. We have since changed from the old model of running after tax payers to interacting with them and bringing our services closer to them.”
He noted that URA’s most important role is to raise revenue that’s needed to run the economy but that they cannot achieve their goal without the support of the media, because they are the voices of both URA and the public.
The Chief guest of the event Dr Protazio Begumisa, who is the Commissioner Internal Audit and Compliance, noted that “As media there is need to study and understand taxation, such that you can inform the public about it.
This is because there’s need for people to understand taxation if we are to have the best taxation policy.”
He further explained that the media is playing a vital role at helping URA overcome taxation challenges like corruption, smuggling, under declaration. He cautioned journalists not to write generally but to aim at exposing people who are perpetrating these vices.
After remarks from the Chief guest Dr Begumisa, URA appreciated several media houses and journalists for furthering their cause by giving them certificates.
Some of the media houses that received certificates that were handed over by Dr Begumisa include; BBS Terefayina, CEO Magazine, Salt Media, Observer Newspaper, Capital FM, Soft Power, Chimpreports, Next Media, Smart 24, among others. The certificates came with gift hampers.
Among the renowned media practitioners who attended the event were NBS TV’s Mark Ondongtho, Capital FM’s Oscar Semweya Musoke, Record TV director Ezekiel Motsoeng, Red Pepper director Johnson Musinguzi, Vision Group’s Paul Busharizi, Spy Uganda’s Andrew Irumba, among others.
After the speeches, journalists and URA staff cut the cake, which they enjoyed while networking as they enjoyed snacks, drinks and soothing live music from sensetional Ivuga band.