One dead, one other injured as URA officers hunt numberless motorcycles
todaySeptember 23, 2021
By Federick Dramadri
One person has died and another nursing serious injuries at Kuluva hospital as Uganda Revenue Authority URA enforcement officers raided Ayivu trading center, Arua district in an operation to impound motorcycles without license plates. The deceased is 17 year old Jurua Bosco, a resident of Ayaka village while the injured has been identified by detectives Gertrude Afunia. The duo was hit by stray bullets as officers raided the area following a tip off that some suspected smugglers had pitched camp in the area in an operation that saw four numberless motorcycles impounded. Eye witnesses say the deceased was hit on his way from a local eating joint to his salon within the same area, while another bullet hit the injured victim as one of the URA enforcement officers opened fire just very close to their loading point. Angry residents later mounted a road block on the Nebbi-Arua road after the officers attempted to escape, but their attempt to apprehend the embattled officers ran shot following heavy deployment of security officers in the area. Arua district woman Member of Parliament Paparu Lillian described such acts as inhuman. “You are coming for a small operation like this and you carry a machine gun? This is not a battle field I don’t know whether these are the methods of collecting taxes in other parts of the country but this is enough for west Nile, this is enough for Arua District. This innocent guy who has been killed is not even a rider, he just came to take tea and you just fire at him for what? Now look at this lady who was injured and her hand was shattered? I think some of these things need the intervention of Parliament? Adding: “The tax collection processes should be adjusted so that they are user friendly for which people can pay, most importantly getting back on ground to educate people on what they can do. I think government should learn from this and reduce on the charges so that an ordinary person can afford the services why people are not registering their motorcycles and goods are because of the high rates”. Arua district LC5 chairperson earlier condemned the act describing it as despicable. “Such officers need to be brought to book and the law has to take its course. We are all paying taxes but are there no better ways of enforcing compliance to tax obligations? I think government through Uganda Revenue Authority needs to come up with better means of enforcing this compliance”, he said. This comes barely two weeks after 21 year old Philliam Anguni, a boda boda rider and resident of Nyio parish Vurra Sub County Arua district was also shot and injured by a URA enforcement officer attached to Padea Customs in Zombo district in an operation to impound numberless motorcycles.
COVER PHOTO: The injured victim being carried by area residents. Photo by Federick Dramadri.