The Minister of State for Finance, Hon. Amos Lugoloobi has revealed that the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has taken responsibility for shootings that left one person dead and two others in Arua District during altercations between staff of the Authority and the local community.
The Minister was responding to a matter raised by Hon. Lillian Paparu, the Arua District Woman MP concerning URA’s mismanagement of its operations to clamp down motorcycles operating with foreign number plates and smuggling at the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to the statement, on 05 September 2021, the URA team in Pader got into a scuffle with the locals in Arua Town while trying to impound motorcycles being operated without number plates. The second incident occurred on 20 September 2021 when a separate team while on routine surveillance for smuggled goods intercepted four numberless motorcycles in Arivu Town, 20KM from Arua City.
A commotion ensued between the locals and the URA enforcement team who shot at the crowd of agitated locals killing a man called Bosco Jurua and injuring a woman named Gertrude Afunia.
”These two incidents are highly regrettable and we would like to extend our condolences to the family of the deceased; this is not reflective of URA’s standard operating procedures and it is cooperating with the Police to assist with the investigations, ” Lugoloobi said.
The Minister promised that those who are found culpable for the shooting will be dealt with as per the law.
He added URA is reviewing the circumstances leading to the shootings with an intention to avert their re-occurrence.
Lugoloobi said that URA has reached out to the victims and is providing support and medical treatment to those injured.
The Minister said that URA has engaged the local business community and boda boda organisations on more agreeable methods of tax payment for the motorcycles without number plates.
He added that URA will continue carrying out sensitisation on taxation and compliance with the locals.