URA officer remanded on corruption charges

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URA officer remanded on corruption charges
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The Anti-Corruption Court has remanded a Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) staff member on charges of abuse of office, resulting in significant revenue loss for the government.

Prosecutors Hilda Atusimiire and Patricia Ndagire informed the court that Francis Wodero, aged 37, improperly uplifted Value Added Tax (VAT) amounting to Shs 301,100,831.

"On December 29, 2021, while employed as a Tax Officer at URA, Wodero uplifted VAT in favor of Service and Computer Industries (U) Ltd for the period of August 2014 to April 2015, citing credit notes that did not exist," Atusimiire told the court.

The prosecution also reported that Wodero skipped bond on June 8, 2024, and was subsequently arrested on June 24, 2024.

The accused, Wodero, denied the charges and applied for bail. His lawyer, Counsel Herbert Kidiya, presented two sureties to Her Worship Esther Asiimwe.

After reviewing the documents for the sureties, the prosecution argued that they were not substantial, a view with which Asiimwe concurred.

However, the court found Emmanuel Biara, an employee at the Ministry of Water, to be a substantial surety.

"The accused shall report back to court for the mention of the case and application for bail. You are required to present one additional substantial surety since you already have one. You are remanded to a government prison until July 3, 2024," Asiimwe ruled.

According to the charge sheet, Wodero faces two counts: abuse of office contrary to Section 11(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2009, and causing financial loss contrary to Section 20 of the same act.

Both charges relate to the unauthorized VAT uplift, which resulted in a Shs 301,100,831 loss to the government.

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