Religious leaders from various faith backgrounds have made a commitment of educating their flock on the essence of paying taxes as a way of increasing the country’s internal revenues.
The commitment was made on January 29, 2014 during a meeting with the Rwanda Revenue Authority officials. The meeting was under the theme: Striving for self-reliance through taxes”
The head of internal revenues at RRA, AimableKayigi said that the role of religious leaders in this case is very vital since the have a mass population that accounts for 95 percent of the community.
He said that education the believers to pay taxes promptly are a job that can be easily done by religious leaders since most believers believe in them. He said that the country has managed to drive towards self-reliance and so far taxes account for 51.7 percent of the country’s annual budget.
Sheikh Ibrahim Kayitare, the Mufti of Rwanda said that the idea of mobilizing the faithful during prayer services and sermon giving is a good idea but there should be a permanent and sustainable mobilization plan set up by religious leaders and the revenue officials.
Bishop of Kabgayi diocese, SmargadeMbonyintege, and Head of Catholic bishops in Rwanda, also was supportive of the idea but also suggested that the religious leaders should not stop at encouraging tax payers but also helping in rebuking those who embezzle public funds and those who evade taxes- since this has an equal negative impact on the economy.