By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
Ever since National Unity Platform (NUP) President Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine unveiled an amoured bulletproof car in February this year, he has been going back and forth with tax collection body the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) about the real value of the car.
According to URA, the car, which is a Land Cruiser V8 SUV manufactured by Japanese company Toyota, with registration number UBJ 667F, was undervalued at Shs157,925,502, so it needed to be re-verified.
“In accordance with Section 236 (d) of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004 as amended, you are required to voluntarily bring the above-mentioned motor vehicle to the URA Nakawa Inland Port to undergo re-verification process not later than 3:00 pm of 26th February 2021, without fail,” URA instructed.
After re-verification, URA wrote to Bobi Wine yesterday informing him that he will have to pay a whooping Shs337,698,776.25 million in taxes if he is to get his car from the authority.
“Customs has re-valued the motor vehicle using alternative methods of valuation and appraised customs value of $166,700 with tax payable of UGX337,698,776.25 (Uganda Shillings three hundred thirty-seven million six hundred ninety-eight thousand seven hundred seventy-six only),” the letter reads in part.
Using his social media platforms, Bobi Wine has expressed dismay for this “incredibly high” amount of tax he has been instructed to pay and as expected, he blamed it on his main political opponent, President Yoweri Museveni.
“Today they wrote asking me to pay this incredibly high sum of money. Like I’ve said before when you fight against Museveni, all state institutions gang up against you because they’ve been personalised. It will be recalled that my two other vehicles were impounded in Arua in 2018 and never returned,” Bobi Wine said.
It should be noted that the car that has become the centre of a dispute between Bobi Wine and URA was donated to the former presidential candidate by his supporters in Uganda and in the diaspora to protect his life from the danger that is hoped to come from security authorities.
The same supporters have pledged to fundraise and pay off the tax that they have described as “outrageous.”
Please post your bank or MM details. We’ll raise the 337M by Monday. https://t.co/ZEFYHOBzwT
— Tuchel’s Jacket (@Nuwaha17) April 22, 2021
Just give us a number to deposit money Mr. President. You were never alone in this fight
— Darker skinn_⏱_ (@BradleyCarlvin1) April 22, 2021