HUYE – Tax collectors and inspectors in Kigali City have condemned the lack of political support from grassroots leaders in mobilising taxpayers to meet their tax obligations.
They said this at the closure of a workshop on taxes last Friday that took place at the Rwanda Revenue Authority Workshop Institute in Huye District.
The two-phase training that began on October 31 targeted tax collectors and inspectors drawn from all sectors of Kigali City.
The workshop, which was attended by up to 58 tax collectors and inspectors, focused on an overview of the national and local taxes and the link between the two.
It also tackled the legal framework of all taxes and fees at national and local levels.
During the closing ceremony, participants called for “collaboration in the process of mobilising taxpayers”.
According to them, lack of local government support complicates their work.
“While they actively participate in community mobilisation when it comes to other policies, grassroots leaders tend to look away when it comes to tax collection,” observed Augustin Ndayambaje, a tax inspector in Remera Sector, Gasabo District.
Speaking at the ceremony, Fred Mufuruke, the Director of territorial administration in the Ministry of Local Government, promised to discuss the issue with other top officials to find a solution.
“The limited political support from grassroots leaders is a serious issue which needs to be addressed. For instance, when it comes to mobilising the population for the anti-Nyakatsi (thatched houses) drive, everyone from the village leader to the top central government authorities gets involved,” said Mufuruke.
“It is therefore surprising to learn that when it comes to tax collection, they seem not to be concerned though the money used in implementing the policy comes from those taxes”.
Kigali city Vice-Mayor in charge of economic affairs, Alphonse Nizeyimana, urged the officers to work hard to boost the city’s revenue base.
“We hope now that the officers have the necessary skills. They will carry out their work with more ease. We want them to reach out to every taxpayer, explain what their rights and duties are and collect all taxes,” Nizeyimana said.
He further commended the officers, noting that from August this year, the city’s revenue has sharply shot up by 50 percent.
Nizeyimana attributed the change to the courses that tax officers underwent as part of the capacity building programme.