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Bobi Wine decries persecution as URA demands for more UGX337 to clear monster Land Cruiser

Bobi Wine has decried persecution (PHOTO/File).

KAMPALA – Uganda Revenue Authority –URA has ordered Kyadondo East MP and former Presidential candidate –Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine to pay an additional Ugx337m in taxes for his recently acquired armoured Toyota Land Cruiser V8.

The latest developments follow URA’s re-assessment of the taxes levied on monster vehicle, carried out after over a month after it had been registered in Uganda.

Before the vehicle was surrendered to URA for re-assessment exercise about two weeks ago, there had a dispute as to whether it was ‘bulletproof’ – the reason court ordered Bobi Wine to deliver it for re-examination; and the Commissioner Customs, Abel Kagumire confirmed in a letter to Kyagulanyi’s lawyers on April 22 that indeed the Land Cruiser had components of military hardware.

“It was confirmed that the unit is armored. The details of Ballistic protection were confirmed as 90 mm for the window upper plate glass and 6 mm for the bottom Hull,” wrote Kagumire.

Kagumire’s letter read: “……..Toyota Land Cruiser V8 Reg. No. UBJ 667F; it was confirmed that the unit was armored.

“The details of Ballistic protection were confirmed as 90 mm for the window upper plate glass and 6 mm for the bottom Hull.

“It was also established that the declaration made vide Customs reference UGCWH C 54 of 12th February 2021 did bare false hoods of clearing it as a normal vehicle yet it was armored contrary to Sections 203 of the East African Community Customs Management Act. 2004
“Customs has re-valued the motor vehicle using alternative methods of valuation and appraised a Customs value of $ 166,7001- (United States Dollars One hundred sixty-six thousand only); with tax payable of UWE 337,698,776.25/= (Uganda Shillings Three hundred thirty-seven million six hundred ninety-eight thousand seven hundred seventy-six only).

“Please advise your client to liaise with the office of the Assistant Commissioner Enforcement who by copy hereof is requested to facilitate payment of due taxes and release of your client’s vehicle accordingly.”

On receiving the not-so good news – Bobi Wine went to social media platforms and castigated the regime for what he described as persecution. He condemned URA for imposing an additional huge tax onto him to clear the vehicle – outlining the various steps undertaken to process its registration in Uganda.

“….The vehicle was taken to the Directorate of Interpol in Kololo and thy cleared it; it was then taken to the forensics department of police in Naguru and they too, cleared it. Then we took it to URA and they did their own independent verification and levied the relevant tax, which we paid.

“The reason we did all this very easily was because my name hadn’t come into the picture. For several months, they did not raise any issue. Indeed, if the car belonged to other citizens, there wouldn’t be any issue.
“It was only when we transferred the car into my name that they began looking for faults and did not find any. At first they claimed that armoured vehicle require clearance from the Ministry of Defence. But there was no law to back their outrageous claim. That is how they said it was undervalued,” ranted Bobi Wine, who could lose the vehicle should he fail to raise the required amount specified in the Kagumire letter, in a given period.

A brand new vehicle of similar models to that in contention is estimated at a cost of Ugx500m before taxes.

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