The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) yesterday ordered former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, to return his bullet-proof car for fresh tax re-verification.
In an April 8 letter to National Unity Platform (NUP) leader, URA demanded that he presents the bullet-proof car today. The latest directive followed a recent ruling of the High Court in Kampala in which the judge dismissed Bobi Wine application that sought to block the said tax re-evaluation of his car.
“Further reference is made to our earlier communication to your client Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert to voluntarily deliver motor vehicle, Toyota Land Cruiser, UBJ 667F to URA for re-evaluation exercise. You subsequently, sued URA seeking orders to stop going ahead to re-verify the said motor vehicle and your application seeking the said orders was dismissed on the 6th April, 2021,” the URA letter reads in part. The letter was addressed to Bobi Wine lawyers of Wameli and Company Advocates.
The letter adds: “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, 9th April, 2021 at 9 O’clock without fail.”
The letter was written by Acting Commissioner of Customs, Mr Asadu Kigozi Kisitu.
On Tuesday this week, presiding judge, Emmanuel Baguma, in his ruling, stated that re-assessment of Mr Kyagulanyi’s car by the tax body, would not cause him any irreparable injury that cannot be atoned in terms of damages.
Further, the judge noted that Mr Kyagulanyi had failed to prove to court that the said car was the only means of transport that he has, hence he would be unable to move around.
“It is, therefore, my considered view that the applicant (Mr Kyagulanyi), has not adduced evidence to show that the recalling of the said vehicle for re-verification will cause him irreparable injury which cannot be compensated by award of damages,” Justice Baguma ruled.
“In the final result, this application is not a proper one to grant a temporary injunction. The application, therefore, fails and it’s hereby dismissed.” he added.
When contacted last evening to explain whether Bobi Wine would comply with the URA directives, the NUP spokesperson, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi said, he was not aware of the said letter.
“We spent the better part of today (yesterday) at Rubaga Cathedral at the burial of Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga and I have not seen the said letter by URA. To that effect, I can’t comment about it.” Mr Ssenyonyi said. His boss Bobi Wine was unavailable for a comment.
However, sources close to URA told Daily Monitor that in the event Bobi Wine fails to take his bullet-proof car to Nakawa for tax reverification, the next course of action would be to impound the car in accordance with the law.
Early last month, Mr Kyagulanyi petitioned court, seeking to block URA from recalling his car to be subjected to fresh tax assessment.
This followed a communication from the tax body to the politician of how his car had been undervalued as an ordinary car and yet it was a bullet-proof car.
However, Mr Kyagulanyi went on and rejected to honour the directive, arguing that URA did not have powers to do so, especially after his vehicle had already passed through their hands.
The said car was allegedly donated to Mr Kyagulanyi by his supporters in the diaspora shortly after the January 14 presidential polls.