By Spy Uganda Investigative Team
Kampala: Despite President Museveni cautioning Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials on rampant corruption while delivering 2020 Heroes’ Day Speech, and made drastic changes in URA at the begining of this year, it is still evident that more needs to be done. This, after Uganda National Bureau Of Standards (UNBS) an agency, responsible for the formulation, promotion of the use of, and the enforcement of standards in protection of the environment, public health and safety, and URA staff allowed smuggled ‘For Sale In Kenya Only’ Kay Salt into Uganda. As if that was not enough, they even permitted it to be donated to COVID-19 Task Force!
In our previous findings by our Investigative reporter, it was discovered that, Krystaline Salt Limited had already earned billions of Uganda shillings after smuggling it into Uganda in different ways including ‘panya reroutes’ by bicycle riders and people with disabilities using their wheelchair bicycles who carry reasonable quantities a day by making several trips and also big trucks who directly pass through the right paths after bribing their way.
Now, putting a side the above background, the current information on our desk is that, Internal Security Organisation (ISO) is investigating circumstances under which over 200 kgs of Kaysalt meant to be consumed only in Kenya was donated as relief food items in Uganda.
Mukono resident district commissioner (RDC) Fred Bamwine says the salt was donated to the district COVID-19 task force by an undisclosed Non Government Organisation (NGO).
In addition to our previous findings that Kay Salt was smuggled into Uganda through ‘panya reroutes’ by bicycle riders and wheelchair riders, According to Bamwine, they suspect that the salt could have also been smuggled into the country through Lake Victoria.
He says the food relief committee led by Fred Yiga, the former Interpol Director in Uganda Police Force found a seal on the salt limiting its consumption to only Kenyans, which prompted them to withhold it.
The Mukono district ISO officer, Frank Mpaulo, says intelligence teams have started investigating how the salt ended up in Uganda adding that their findings will inform their next course of action.
To confirm our previous findings, Fred Gonja, the Secretary Katosi landing site, says it possible some smuggle goods into the country using the lake and as a result, they’ve not only evaded taxes and other import duties, but also caused excruciating losses to legal brands on the market as their market sales have since declined by over 60%.
“Sometimes people run out of fuel on the lake and that is when they cross into the country. Many come unnoticed and that’s when maybe even goods can be smuggled by traders,” Gonja said.
According to our sources, the Kenya based Krystaline also the proud manufacturer of Habari salt also smuggles Kaysalt using Kenya-Uganda both Busia and Malaba borders.
In a bid to understand the possibility of how unauthorised ‘For Sale In Kenya Only’ entres Uganda, our reporter was told by one of the agents of Krystalline salt at border who preferred anonymity “Yaaah! true all of us here at the border sale this salt [holds a packet in his hands], since it is smuggled, it makes it cheaper, soo…..we are earning more at least since we buy it cheaply and sale in different packages.
However, this means that Kaysalt producers Krystalline Salt Limited is not only evading URA Import taxes and other fundamental duties but also breach Uganda Revenue Authority importing requirements that include: Import declaration, Content particulars, Suppliers invoice, Documented evidence carriage of goods, Customs value declaration, Compliance information, Good release order evidence etc.
Our Investigator is still on ground for more details….