URA fails to recover Shs 53bn from Uganda traffic police

URA fails to recover Shs 53bn from Uganda traffic police
The penalty fees are issued to offending motorists and drivers. Over the last 10 years the money has accumulated to Shs 53 billion

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is struggling to collect over Shs 52.6 billion from traffic police, money accrued from express penalty fees over the last 10 years.

The money is owed in penalty fees issued to offending drivers and motorists across the country. Section 179 of the Traffic and Road safety Act empowers police through the Directorate of Traffic and Road safety to enforce the Express Penalty Scheme (EPS) which is a revenue generator for police and government.

The auditor general, in his 2017 report released recently, indicates that despite the mandate of the police to enforce this scheme, it’s impossible for them to demand this outstanding payments from drivers due to lack of a computerised system.

Some drivers and motorists once receipted disappear with the receipt and never pay for it.

“Tickets are currently issued manually to traffic offenders through out the country. Lack of computers with internet connectivity in almost all stations outside Kampala and issuing tickets to offenders manually, which makes it difficult for traffic officers to reconcile with URA EPS defaulters,” reads the auditor general’s report in part.

Traffic police has been trying to install a tracking system which can be used to track defaulters. The system is currently functioning at at different regions across the country. Last year police launched the EPS mobile app to track down offending motorists who default on payments.

However, the traffic police spokesperson, Charles Ssebambulidde says there is a lot that needs to be done about the system in order for it to effectively track defaulters and compel them to pay.

“We need to synchronize it with the URA EPS system but also to introduce electronic billing to the system. We are doing everything possible to ensure that this is done soon,” Ssebambulidde told this publication.

Out of the money collected through the EPS, a small percentage goes to the police for it’s expenditure.