INTERVIEW: Ex-URA Boss Kateshumbwa to Contest for Sheema MP; “Mafias Have Been Paid to Destroy Me”

An electoral campaign poster of former URA Commissioner, Dicksons Kateshumbwa.

Just days after resigning as the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Dicksons Kateshumbwa, has announced he will contest for the position of Member of Parliament representing Sheema Municipality.

Sheema municipality constituency was created on July 1, 2018, by carving it out of Sheema North constituency. It is currently represented by the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye.

Reports of Kateshumbwa (Katesh) joining elective politics emerged on social media by way of a poster showing the former URA Commissioner clad in colours of the ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM) captioned ‘MP Sheema Municipality 2021-2026’.

SoftPower News contacted Kateshumbwa, who on Tuesday afternoon, confirmed that he is joining the race and that he has harboured intentions to represent Sheema Municipality in Parliament for a long time.

“I am standing because I want to represent the people of Sheema Municipality in Parliament. I have served in government for 15 years, served in international organizations and now it is time to serve my people because they need the quality of leadership that I have,” Kateshumbwa told this news website.

“I have always had this ambition and it was indeed at the back of my mind but I kept it to myself because I was still serving in other capacities. However, I have been on the ground and people have welcomed me well. I grew up from there, they know me well and the values I stand for,” he added.

It should be remembered that in March, the URA Commissioner General, Doris Akol was fired by President Museveni and replaced with John Musinguzi and two months later, Kateshumbwa and several other URA officials including Henry Saka (Commissioner Tax Investigations), Silajji Kanyesigye Baguma (Assistant Commissioner large taxpayers office) and Samuel Kahima (Tax Auditor Domestic Tax Department) resigned.

The resignation was widely believed as a forced one but Kateshumbwa said at the time that he had resigned of his own accord.

Although the URA Board of Directors in their statement did not state the reasons why the commissionsers had resigned, the President while addressing Parliament during the 2020/2021 Financial Year Budget address, indicated that the officials were removed in a bid to rid the tax body of corruption. He, however, did not mention names.

Individuals on social media as well some news outlets have since his resignation been making several allegations about Kateshumbwa.

But he says reports that he forcefully resigned are false and are only aimed at destroying him and his reputation.

“Since I resigned, mafias have been paid to destroy me, it is only you people (SoftPower News) who have been reporting professionally about the issues surrounding my resignation. I have served the URA with integrity for 15 years, I wouldn’t have served that long if I was a wrong character as the mafias want to purport,” he adds.

Kateshumbwa says during his tenure at URA, he made a lot of achievements including transforming and putting Uganda customs on the global stage.

He adds that people in Sheema Municipality have already disregarded the ‘fake’ stories of his alleged misconduct at URA since they know him well and his humble background.

“They are actually encouraging me to ignore such reports, they know my values and so, no amount of attacks can change a conscious mind – what matters is the conscience you have, we may not all be perfect but I have served and my achievements are there for everyone to see”.

He added: “I have not stolen anything, I have worked hard for whatever I have and I think it is the time for me to serve the country through another capacity by representing the people”.

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