Former presidential candidate and National Unity Platform Party President Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine says he is tired of being persecuted by the Uganda Revenue Authority after he was asked to pay extra money as tax to clear his armored car.
URA says the car has been revalued at USD 166,700 (601 million Shillings) and the tax payable on it revised to 337 million. Kyagulanyi took to social media to applaud his supporters for buying him the armored Toyota Land Cruiser which was imported into the country in November last year from Kenya and cleared in January.
However, URA said the vehicle was cleared in error, as an ordinary car, paying less tax than was due. URA's commissioner Abel Kagumire said the car was valued at about 158 million Shillings, and sources say a tax of 88 million Shillings was then assessed and paid, and the car released.
Kyagulanyi's statement on social media that the vehicle is armoured, led the revenue authority to launch an investigation and later recalled the car for reassessment, and upon establishing that the unit was armoured, the NUP leader is now required to pay up to 337,698,776.25 in tax.
"it was confirmed that the unit is armoured. The details of ballistic protection were confirmed as 90 mm for the window upper plate glass, and 6 mm for the bottom haul" a letter by URA to Kyagulanyi's lawyer Anthony Wamelli reads.
The letter signed by Commissioner Kagumire adds that the declarations made on February 12 misled the authority into clearing it as an ordinary car. Adding that the declaration bore "falsehoods of clearing it as a normal vehicle yet it was armoured contrary to Sections 203 of the East African Community Customs Management Act. 2004.
However, Kyagulanyi asserts that there was no wrongdoing on his part and the vehicle has complied with all legal and tax requirements.
"The vehicle was taken to the Directorate of Interpol in Kololo and they 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," he says in a statement.
Kyagulanyi futher alleges that there were attempts to drag the car to the Ministry of Defence for clearance but they failed for lack of a law. "At first they claimed that armoured vehicles require clearance by the Ministry of Defence. But there was no law to back their outrageous claim. That is how they said it was undervalued," he says.