Kampala, Uganda | URN | Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has received his bullet-proof vehicle from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). The tax body returned the vehicle that they impounded over tax issues following a directive from President Yoweri Museveni.
The tax body impounded the bullet-proof vehicle in April after court clearance to allow for re-inspection and tax assessment. After re-examination, URA slapped new taxes of 337 million on the Toyota Land Cruiser V8 Reg. No. UBJ 667F after confirming that it’s bulletproof.
In a June 7 letter to Bobi Wine’s lawyers led by Anthony Wameli, the URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi Rujoki said that they had received instructions from the president to return the bullet-proof vehicle to the owner immediately.
“This is to inform you that we have received a directive from His Excellency the President of Uganda to effect that Uganda Revenue Authority should release your client’s motor vehicle immediately,” the letter from URA reads. Adding that, “In the light of the above, please liaise with the commissioner customs who by copy hereof is requested to facilitate provisional release of your client’s vehicle immediately.”
However, Rujoki notes the outstanding tax is still due and payable. The final amount will be communicated to your client in due course after the review of the proposal. Shortly after receiving the vehicle at his home in Magere Kasangati in Wakiso, Bobi Wine described Museveni’s directive to URA as a publicity stunt.
“I first saw a letter that Mr. Museveni had directed that my car be given back. That is a gimmick to be used as a string against me,” Bobi Wine said. He said the decision is a clear manifestation of how state institutions have been hijacked and work on orders of the president.
“It shows that all state institutions have no power. They are under captivity by Mr. Museveni, why didn’t URA follow the right channels in returning the car but had to wait for Museveni? Bobi Wine asked. Bobi Wine also used the same occasion to demand that the government release hundreds of his supporters still in prisons over political reasons.
Bobi Wine also revealed that his team would first examine the vehicle before he uses it. Bobi Wine’s supporters in the Diaspora donated the vehicle shortly after the disputed January 14, 2021 polls.