Two Online Journalists Arrested Over URA Staff Story Released On Police Bond

Two Online Journalists Arrested Over URA Staff Story Released On Police Bond

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: Two online journalists working with The Inspector, an online news portal, Richard Kintu and Henry Mulindwa, who were arrested yesterday Friday, have been released on police bond. The journalists had been detained at Jinja Road Police Station over a story involving Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) staff, Francis Wodero.

The story originated from an internal memo revealing that Wodero was under investigation for allegedly aiding major taxpayers in evading substantial tax burdens by tampering with ledger tracking systems, which significantly affected accurate tax obligations, that’s according to sources with in URA.

The memo, which was internal was intercepted by the journalists and attached it it on the story, to the annoyance of the highly connected ‘money-bag’, Wodero.

The Memo, which has not been denied by URA leadership indicated that a company named Services and Computer Industries (U) Limited had its VAT returns for August 2014 and April 2015 allegedly altered, causing significant losses to the national treasury amounting to billions. The URA had focused on Wodero, accusing him of manipulating the tax body’s records in 2021 while working in the Larger Taxpayers Office, which handles high-value taxpayers like telecoms and industries.

Furthermore, the story alleged that in this particular case, the company under query, inspectors said it’s VAT returns were in the region of Shs10bn but this amount kept thinning until it became mere millions of shillings, the reason investigations have now kicked off.

Click On The Link Below To Read Full Story

URA Tightens Noose On It’s ‘Forgery Officer’, Orders Him To Keep Away From Tax Body’s Offices Until May 20 – The Inspector

URA Internal Memo Summoning Mr Wodero For Questioning

Now inside sources who preferred to remain anonymous have revealed that the investigations are still ongoing at URA against Wodero, whom we’ve learnt is as connected as a cobweb to power brokers.

Despite the memo’s authenticity, the journalists were charged with cybercrime and Male-Kiwanuka Mabirizi, who offered free legal advice to the journalists, pointed out that if the memo had not been genuine, they would have been charged with defamation. “You see, what’s funny here is that they’re not denying that the Memo quoted isn’t genuine, their problem is that why did they write? No, who told Wodero that journalists are his employees and must only write what pleases him? If the memo wasn’t genuine, they would have charged them with defamation,” Male-kiwanuka said shortly after securing their release.

Before being released on bond, the journalists had to present their sureties, including Andrew Irumba, CEO of TheSpy Uganda, Detective-UG and President of the Independent Online Journalists Association (Indoja-U), Mbabazi Hannington Gonzaga, CEO of Capital Times, Bakoko and Alex Bukumune who works with Uganda Human Rights Commission.

They’re slated to report back on Monday morning as per their bonds. an accessible web community

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