MPs on the Committee on Commissions Statutory Authority and State Enterprise (Cosase) have tasked Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials to explain the disappearance of over 9,000 litres of petrol under their custody.
The tax body officials led by the commissioner general, Doris Akol appeared before Cosase chairman Kawempe South MP, Mubarak Munyagwa on Tuesday to respond to queries in FY 2013/14 auditor general’s report.
In the report, the auditor general noted that despite the fact that URA seized up to 110,000 liters of petrol from a company belonging to John Imaniraguha, more than 9,000 litres went missing.
The fuel was seized by URA on May 30, 2006 over unpaid taxes and penalties worth Shs 90m. According to Imaniraguha, the fuel was destined for Democratic Republic of Congo but URA argued that this was just a cover up to evade paying domestic taxes because the fuel ended up at local petrol stations in Uganda anyway.
Imaniraguha cleared the taxes in question, but found less fuel forcing him to petition the tax body. URA then paid him Shs 63.3m as compensation for the missing fuel.
Jinja East MP, Paul Mwiru tasked the URA officials to explain the circumstances under, which the fuel went missing and disparities in the cost of the fuel per litre. According to the auditor general, URA valued the fuel at Shs 6,000 per litre. Today a litre of petrol costs Shs 4200.
James Kisale, the then assistant commissioner enforcement, explained that the fuel was impounded on suspicion of fraudulent transactions. He explained that they didn’t measure the fuel when they impounded it, which was an omission on their part.
Agnes Nabwire, the assistant commissioner customs, saying the fuel disappeared when they deposited the impounding fuel with fuel distribution giant, Shell Uganda. Munyagwa questioned how fuel would mysteriously disappear from the custody of URA.
He said the disappearance of the fuel in unacceptable considering the fact that URA is supposed to be a custodian of impounded goods in the country. URA officials return to Cosase today.