MTN Clarifies on TAT Ruling to pay UGX 24,273,771,472

MTN v URA TAT Application No. 8 of 2019.

In August 2016, URA issued MTN with an assessment of UGX 326,996,917,906 for unpaid taxes arising between the period 2011-2014. By Civil Suit 986 of 2016, MTN challenged the assessment in the High Court and a prolonged reexamination of the available evidence ensued, resulting in a partial consent judgement in June 2018 in favor of MTN, wherein it was agreed that the amount of the assessment was reduced to UGX 24,273,771,472.

This residual amount was subject to the interpretation of a technical issue i.e. whether the taxable value of excise duty on airtime was to be charged on usage or at the point of sale, which was referred to the Tax Appeals Tribunal vide TAT Application 8 of 2019. During the proceedings, both parties conducted further reconciliation and as at 3rd March 2020, the agreed reconciled possible tax, outstanding pending further considerations, was further significantly reduced.

On 28 May 2020, the Tax Appeals Tribunal ruled that excise duty should be charged at the point of sale and accordingly upheld the assessment against MTN. To prevent an overpayment of the reconciled amount, which is significantly lower than UGX 24,273,771,472, MTN on 29 May 2020 obtained an interim order against the enforcement of the several agency notices issued by URA.

MTN is a responsible and ethical Corporate citizen committed to meeting all its lawful obligations including all taxes that are properly assessed and are due and owing. MTN is studying the TAT ruling, taking advice on the implications thereof and will make every effort to conclude this matter in a fair, legal, and ethical manner.

Ends.

MTN Uganda Supports Kasese Floods Victims With Non-Food Start-up kits  

  • Thousands of people are displaced, houses and property destroyed, and livelihoods affected following flash floods from heavy rains in Kasese district and surrounding Mt. Rwenzori region this month.

 

  • MTN has donated shs.41,000,000 to provide relief to the displaced people

 

  • The money will be used to provide 100 start-up nonfood items/ relief kits to support some of the displaced families.

 

MTN Uganda through its Corporate Social Responsibility arm, the MTN Foundation has donated Shs. Ugx 41,000,000 million towards the Kasese floods victims. This money will be used to buy non-food relief items to support the families that have been displaced.

The devastating floods ensued after River Nyamwamba burst its banks, following the heavy rains that hit the Rwenzori Mountain ranges.

Over 24,760 households with approximately 173,320 people were affected by the flash floods. Almost up to 150 houses were destroyed in Karusandara division while another 92 houses were completely washed away in Nyamwamba and kilembe areas. The displaced people have sought shelter from nearby churches and school buildings following a directive from Hon. Musa Ecweru, the state Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness during his visit to the area last week.

It is against this premise MTN Uganda, through it’s foundation that aims at improving the lives of the communities within which it operates by supplementing government efforts in priority areas including disaster responses has urgently come in to reach out to the  Kasese floods victims with relief aid.

While handling over the dummy cheque to the Red Cross and Officials from the office of the Prime Minister, MTN Uganda’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte said remarked that facing such a disaster in these unprecedented times when the globe is grappling with the Covid19 pandemic and the country in a state of lock-down, spells double tragedy for the people of Kasese, thus prompting urgent relief from mtn and all other stake holders to save the lives of people.

This was during a dummy cheque handover at the Nyonyi Gardens MTN offices in Kampala this morning.

Wim further expressed MTN’s heartfelt sympathy to the people of Kasese.

“As MTN Uganda, we stand with the people of Kasese who have suffered great loss in the recent heavily destructive flash floods. We understand that this is such a trying time, especially since we are already battling the devastating effects of the Covid19 pandemic. We hope that this modest support we have rendered will offer them some comfort,”

While receiving the cheque, Robert Kwesiga, Uganda Red Cross Secretary General appreciated MTN for always coming through very fast to support whenever the Country has emergences.

“This is not the first time MTN Uganda has supported people affected by disasters. Last year they supported Bududa twice, supported Bundibugyo and today they are supporting Kasese. This consistent commitment is a true humanitarian spirit exhibited by MTN to support it’s community. Amidst this period when all partners including MTN have heavily invested in the COVID-19 fight, MTN has still managed to support Kasese. We want to thank you.” Kwesiga said.

The money shall be used to procure 100 standard household non-food-item kits to reach out to 100 most vulnerable families comprising of children, youths, women and the elderly. Each of the kits contains 2 cooking pots, 6 cups, 6 plates, 1 knife, 1 ladle, 2 jerry cans, 3 blankets, 3 mosquito nets, 3 bars of soap and 1 tarpaulin for shelter.

 

In 2013, the MTN foundation spent about 250m to support the kilembe mines hospital which had been affected by similar floods through refurbishment of the children and maternal ward and provided items to support the hospital inclusive of 100 hospital beds, mattresses, mosquito nets as well a generator.

 

On behalf of the Government of Uganda, the Ag Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness Ms. Rose Nakabugo extended warm heartfelt appreciation to MTN Foundation for the support to the people of Kasese. “This is very timely. We thank MTN and commit that the donated items will right away be delivered to Kasese to help people cope through this situation. Thank you for complementing our efforts.”

 

MTN Customers Contribute Shs21.9million to Red Cross to Fight Covid19

  • The contributions came through a MoMoPay Merchant code that MTN launched in April to enable its customers to donate to the Red Cross
  • The money will be used to procure and provide essential food assistance to the most vulnerable households whose livelihoods have been affected by the lockdown
  • The MoMoPay merchant code is one of the interventions that MTN Uganda put in place to support government efforts in the fight against COVID 19.

 

 Ugandans have responded to a call by the Uganda Red Cross society and have contributed shs21.9million towards the society’s efforts in the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic.

The contributions were made through a MoMoPay merchant code that MTN Uganda launched in April as one of the telecom company’s interventions in the fight against the deadly virus. Through the merchant code *165*3*191919# MTN customers are in position to make donations of any amount toward the efforts to combat covid19.

Robert Kwesiga the General Secretary Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) said at the launch of the Merchant code that the donations would be used to procure and provide essential food assistance to the most vulnerable households whose livelihoods, from their informal jobs, have been adversely affected by the partial lockdown instituted in response to COVID19 pandemic in Uganda. This is to complement government efforts.

Speaking after receiving the money from MTN Uganda on behalf of Red Cross, Dr. Josephine Okwera, the Director Health and Social Services at URCS was elated that Ugandans had responded positively to the call, but said the struggle is still on and needs more generous Ugandans to come on board.

“We would really like to thank the community for responding to our call. This money will go a long way in making the lives of some people easier during this hard time. But as you are all aware, the lockdown has been extended so we call upon more Ugandans to come on board so we can rescue those that are worst hit due to the lockdown,” Okwera said.

MTN Uganda’s Senior Manager corporate affairs and Public Relations, Ms. Rhona Arinaitwe reiterated the company’s commitment to stand together with Ugandans by doing everything it can to reduce the impact that covid19 is having on their lives.  She committed that, “MTN Uganda will continue to look at ways of supporting our communities and government, to ensure that together, we do everything feasible to get through this difficult time.”

Arinaitwe further noted that the merchant code *165*3*191919# will remain open to the public who wish to donate towards the fight against the COVID19 pandemic. The money collected from the merchant code henceforth will be channelled to the National COVID19 Task Force to support their efforts in alleviating the devastating effects of the pandemic.

MTN Uganda, like other organisations responded to governments call to support her efforts in the COVID19 fight. MTN zero rated mobile money sending transactions of any amount, contributed shs290million to Uganda Red Cross society to support the society’s efforts, and contributed another shs220million to National Water to deliver water to water stressed communities in and around Kampala.

The telecom company also handed over three brand new pickup trucks to the COVID 19 task force as a response to the President’s call for cars.  MTN Uganda also provisioned a Toll-Free number 919 for the public to call Ministry of Health teams and get assistance related to covid19. This is in addition to the existing 0800203033 and 0800100066 toll free lines that the public is calling to get help.

MTN Uganda has zero-rated several learners’ websites to complement efforts to educate and keep children engaged during the quarantine period. This means MTN data customers don’t need MBs to access the sites available at www.mtn.co.ug/learnathome and the ministry of health website to facilitate the flow of information.