RX Radio Presenter James Onen aka Fatboy has said there is need for Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to put a limit on the amount of force and aggression that their enforcement officers use while dealing with alleged tax invaders.
Two enforcement officers from URA attached to Arua Customs were airlifted to Kampala on Monday after being beaten into coma by suspected residents of Yobuyia cell in Ayivu East Constituency Arua City.
The two tax enforcers were accused of knocking a suspected rice smuggler with their car door along Arua-Koboko road near River Enyau leaving him unconscious. Following the incident, residents poured at the scene, disarmed the duo and beat them into a coma. Two people have already been arrested in connection to the attack and a number of residents have fled their homes in fear of being arrested.
According to Fatboy, although it was completely wrong for the residents to attack the URA employees who were simply doing their job, it is necessary for enforcement officers to learn how to deal with alleged smugglers instead of using a lot of harmful force.
“Collecting taxes is not easy especially in a country where taxes are mismanaged. I don’t understand where enforcement officers have to use a lot of force to handle small tax invaders. I hope they learn from this unfortunate incident and handle tax payers in a more reasonable manner,” he said.
His co-host Olive Najjuma wondered why URA was not using the same amount of force on big companies that do not fulfil their tax obligations and are causing huge losses to the country.
“For the big companies, URA only publishes a name and shame list in the newspapers, and someone just makes a call to a hire office and all the noise comes down yet for the small insignificant smugglers, they have to use too much force to the extent of knocking some of them dead like a previous incident where the URA enforcement team knocked dead a Congolese National, accusing him of smuggling,” she said.
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The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy and Oliver Najjuma every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.
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