By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has written to National Unity Platform (NUP) president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine to voluntarily hand over his armored vehicle for re-inspection.
URA says that Kyagulanyi is only given today and tomorrow to hand over the vehicle without fail.
This comes after High Court in Kampala earlier this week declined to block URA from recalling the alleged armored car for a fresh tax re-assessment as had been requested by Kyagulanyi’s lawyers.
Kyagulanyi through his lawyers of Wameli and Company Advocates had told the court that the vehicle had already been assessed, taxes paid, and cleared for use by the tax body, adding that it is currently his only means of transport and that taking it for reassessment as requested by URA would see him suffer losses.
However, Justice Emmanuel Baguma in response said that handing over the vehicle to URA would not cause any irreparable injury to Kyagulanyi.
In a letter dated April 8, 2021, to Kyagulanyi’s lawyers, the acting Commissioner for customs in URA, Asadu Kugozi Kisitu said that the tax body is seeking to implement its earlier request to have the car reassessed.
“In light of the court ruling, we reiterate our earlier request to present the said motor vehicle to URA Nakawa inland port for re-verification exercise in the presence of your appointed agent not later than Friday, April 9, 2021,” reads part of the letter from URA.
In his application to the court, the runner-up in the January 14 polls said he was being targeted by the state since declaring interest to challenge President Museveni in the just-concluded election.
“The plaintiff has been a victim of such schemes from the government where his vehicle (Tundra) currently at Arua Central police station was illegally and unlawfully impounded and has been kept for over three years since 2018 under the guise of carrying out inquiries,” he told the court.
He added that the same vehicle was clearly assessed and later cleared for use, adding that it is not fair to have the same recalled for the same exercise which was already done.
However, URA says that an inquiry was established into circumstances under which it was imported into the country since it came to their knowledge that it was under-declared and therefore paid lesser taxes.
URA noted, “An inquiry has been conducted into circumstances under which motor vehicle Toyota Land Cruiser registration number UBJ 667F declared to customers was cleared and subsequently registered. Our findings among others reveal that the above-mentioned vehicle was cleared to customs as an ordinary motor vehicle instead of an armored motor vehicle the implication of which is that the vehicle was undervalued.”
It however remains to be seen whether Kyagulanyi will voluntarily hand over the vehicle to the tax body following the decision by the court to dismiss his application challenging the same.