URA boss fired over Shs25 million bribe

KAMPALA-Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has fired the former supervisor of its Old Kampala-based Kampala North Station, Mr Ronald Mayinja, (not related to Ronald Mayinja, the singer), after finding him guilty of soliciting a Shs25 million bribe from a businessman of Asian origin.

Mr Mayinja is said to have solicited the money from the businessman whose identify has remained under wraps, promising to help him avoid paying a Shs86 million Income Tax bill.

 He reportedly promised to harmonise the URA tax system to indicate that businessman’s debt had been cleared.

Mr Ian Rumanyika, the URA manager for public and corporate affairs, told Daily Monitor on Tuesday that Mr Mayinja’s services were terminated on January 9, 2018 after more than two months of an internal investigation that also entailed a disciplinary hearing.

“I can confirm that Mr Mayinja’s services were terminated in line with the provisions of the URA Human Resource manual,” he said.

Mr Mayinja’s troubles started on September 29, 2017 when he was arrested after the businessman alerted his supervisors.

Prior to the arrest, Mr Mayinja was captured on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras receiving Shs1 million as part payment of the Shs25 million he had asked for. He received the money in the businessman’s office.

He stashed the money in his socks but was arrested as he exited the premises.

He was subsequently suspended from duty to pave way for an internal investigation which culminated in his dismissal last week.

Although soliciting a bribe is a criminal offense, Mr Rumanyika indicated that Mr Mayinja would not be prosecuted for it.

“He was caught in the act, but he didn’t take any money [home]. If he had been caught in the act and there had been evidence that he had taken money that would have been evidence against him. He would have definitely been prosecuted,” he said.

Mr Mayinja becomes the second URA top officer to fall from grace under similar circumstances.

In 2011 Mr Deo Imere, a supervisor in the Anti-Corruption Division was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment following his conviction for soliciting a Shs100 million bribe from Ms Labmark Investments Limited to reduce the firm’s tax bill of Shs1,019,878,753 to  Shs230 million.

In January 2015, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s sentence and he was sent to Luzira Prison.

 

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