National Unity Platform leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine has run to court to save his car from being impounded by tax body, Uganda Revenue Authority.
Last week, the URA commissioner in charge of customs, Abel Kagumire wrote to Kyagulanyi informing him of the decision to recall the vehicle after an inquiry had been established into circumstances under which it was imported into the country.
However, through his lawyers of Wameli and Company Advocates, Kyagulanyi says he is being targeted for his involvement in politics especially the recently concluded 2021 presidential elections as a presidential candidate.
He notes in the petition filed before the civil division of the High Court that he has suffered attacks on his vehicles which have been either damaged, destroyed or made not fit for driving adding that the armored vehicle is therefore meant for his own protection and transport needs.
“If the plaintiff hands over his motor vehicle to the defendant , he will be left without means of transport and without the protection he sought in this particular motor vehicle , especially that the defendant is not even specific how long the motor vehicle will stay in the possession of the defendant,” the court documents in which the commissioner-general of the URA has been listed as a defendant.
In a February 24,2021 letter to Kyagulanyi, URA said the armored vehicle was under-declared and therefore there is need for a proper verification by the tax body.
“An inquiry has been conducted into circumstances under which motor vehicle Toyota Land Cruiser registration number UBJ 667F declared to customers was cleared and subsequently registered. Our findings among others reveal that the above-mentioned vehicle was cleared to customs as an ordinary motor vehicle instead of an armored motor vehicle the implication of which is that the vehicle was undervalued,” URA wrote before asking Kyagulanyi to return it to the tax body.
However, in his petition, the runner-up in the January 14 polls says the armored vehicle in question was in URA’s possession where it was examined, assessed and taxed as required before it was released to him as required by law.
He argues that it beats his understanding for URA to seek to do another verification exercise having been done already.
“The plaintiff fears that he will lose his property in the said motor vehicle if the same is taken by the defendant especially that the defendant claims in the letter of February 24 that inquiries were made and that there are many findings amongst which is the finding that the motor vehicle was cleared as an ordinary motor vehicle whereas not,” the court documents say.
“The defendants’ officials have continued to issue verbal threats that they will forcefully impound and take away the said motor vehicle. “The plaintiff has been a victim of such schemes from the government where his vehicle (Tundra) currently at Arua Central police station was illegally and unlawfully impounded and has been kept for over three years since 2018 under the guise of carrying out inquiries.”
In his petition, Kyagulanyi wants court to declare that URA has no powers to call for or threaten to impound his armored vehicle.
“The plaintiff brings in this suit against the defendant for a declaration that the act of the defendant calling for, threatening to impound the plaintiff’s motor vehicle registration number UBJ 667F for re-examination is illegal, unlawful and a violation of the plaintiff’s right to proper under Article 26(1) and 43(1), (2) (a) and (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.”
Kyagulanyi also wants the civil division of the High Court to issue a permanent injunction restraining URA , its agents and representatives from impounding the vehicle.