Banks rush to Constitutional court challenging URA’s request to avail customers’ details

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

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A group of 30 Banks under their umbrella body, the Uganda Bankers Association Limited have petitioned the Constitutional court challenging the move by Uganda Revenue Authority asking them to avail information regarding their customers.

In the letter dated March, 16, 2018, and copied to all banks in Uganda, URA seeks to obtain information in detail on all account holders from January 2016 to December 2017.

Through their lawyers of AF Mpanga and Company Advocates, the banks have filed the petition against the Attorney General and the Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority seeking an intervention by the Constitutional Court to reverse the request by the tax body.

The tax body also requested the banks to furnish it with among others; Telephone numbers of clients, email addresses, Tax Identification Numbers (TIN), National Identification Numbers (NIN) and physical addresses.

URA demands banks reveal account information, addresses of every client

Also required from the banks is the total cash deposits by each client, total cash withdrawals for the said period as well as the standing balance at the time of filing the content to URA.

Banks have since protested against the request saying they will seek guidance from the central bank which is their regulator.

Ugandans in the diaspora through their umbrella body, Common League of the Uganda Diaspora (CLOUD) also protested the move saying it is outlandish and embarrassing.

“The URA request is technically preposterous, indication perverted managerial creativity and awkward imagination. Politically, the request is evidence of regressive governance capabilities, insensitivity to personal freedoms, arrogant disregard of citizen’s privacy, and a demonstration of absolute political indecency,” CLOUD chairperson Martin Byakuleka said in a statement.

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