Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) top managers have apologised to clients after a video emerged showing staff celebrating a colleague’s birthday as many clients stood stranded while waiting to be served.
“We deeply apologise to our clients for this unfortunate experience. We are investigating this matter,” URA said in a statement posted on Twitter on Sunday afternoon.
“URA is a client-focused and responsive organization and this is not the URA way. We assure our clients, great customer experience always. It is because of you that we exist.”
A top manager at Uganda’s tax collector, which is tasked to collect Shs18.3 trillion in domestic taxes for the financial year 2019/20, told this website that those involved are likely to be suspended or lose their jobs. “URA is a client-centered institution and it was wrong that staff had to hold that function in the eyes of waiting clients,” he said, adding that, “Punitive measures are likely to be taken in form of suspension or job loss to those involved.”
The video posted on Facebook by a one Michael Ssuuna shows tens of people standing shocked in a queue, a slap in the face for URA which claims to value customers first. The video shows staff abandon people on the tills and ran to a corner where the singing and merrymaking for a staff member’s birthday was taking place.
Members of the public have reacted differently following the news about the celebrations in the tax body that that projects can still collect Shs20 billion in the current financial year, having surpassed the target last year’s target of Shs16.3 trillion target by Shs300 billion.
Musoni Maurice says: “How on earth do you conduct a birthday party at work. It’s only in Uganda? The entire URA staff should go,, including the CG!! This is beyond!! Kyarenga mazima!!
Masereka Solomon says: “Apology works in home matters, URA is supposed to compensate all client’s because their system is networked to all country branches. Every Ugandan deserves to be compensated 100$ not an apology in economics.”
Luke Dashcom: “Some few months back I told people complaining about waiting time in hospitals of which two of them were URA employees, that it is even worse in their offices, but they said am just arrogant . But really celebrating a birthday during working hours while people wait is next level arrogance. #Twedeko.”
Franco Huntsman “Even if they apologize we interact with them on daily basis we know they don’t deserve the positions they are holding. A tax payer has to be valued at all times. It’s like their positions were sexually transmitted and appointed. Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) please employ people who understand the mission and Vision. How do you neglect people who are developing Uganda? I wish Yoweri Kaguta Museveni can see this.”
“Ndagire Lydia Kimberly Miserable people just, some have never had anyone sing a birthday song for them🤭 matches are stopped so that someone can propose, and it’s not’ right but you just have to let people feel loved and enjoy the moment, it doesn’t take forever.”
Eddie Eddie Eddie: “Apologies it must.. But your obligation required to serve people anytime is a serious relationship requirements in all aspects. You have time to celebrate outside but not time of work… Coz this people your client is also doing something important things to do in life.”
Olango Grace: “The second lady at the head office on the floor where TIN numbers re issued is the worse at customer care, she goes for lunch for 3hrs and returns to work till 4pm, past 4pm she chases u away. I can’t forget that day how everyone sat waiting then later she couldn’t handle all of us coz it was already 4pm. URA leaves a lot to be desired.”
Daniels M Bolton “Is there any institution of government that is on course. All the institutions went down the drain? Where on Earth can a member be allowed to hold such nonsense in the service area? There is no need for an apology, let them search themselves and do the right. Where were the supervisors when they were organizing that nonsense party in that area?”
Christinnah Kimberlie Murungi: “Maybe it was lunch break. That ain’t something u can do in working hours. The person that took the video must be a strong hater of URA or they didn’t give him cake being the first in the line with his head out. Just saying 🤷♀️🤷♀️Uganda Zabu!”
According to people, the video portrays the way how staff badly treats clients. The video comes only a few weeks after URA published a shame list of individuals and companies that have failed to remit taxes to URA. It turns out that URA’s own staff could be the cause of such list that owes government billions of shillings in unpaid taxes.
While addressing the press no longer ago URA Commissioner General Doris Akol said the agency had evolved over time to become an authority that elevates transparency, excellence and integrity. But now with the video that has gone viral, her statement has been put to test.