Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has resorted to intelligence-led operations as a measure to end the deaths of innocent civilians during tax enforcement in the West Nile region. Over the past years, confrontations between URA enforcement teams and the local community have led to the death of innocent civilians as well as URA officials.
In the latest incident Moses Atria, a saloon operator in Okollo Town council in Madi Okollo district lost his life after being shot by URA enforcement officers during an operation to impound numberless motorcycles in Okollo Town council last month.
While announcing the new strategy during a regional meeting held on Monday in Arua city, John Musinguzi, the URA Commissioner General said unlike their previous operations, which involved pursuing suspected smugglers on roads, they will now conduct intelligence-led operations to minimize altercations.
According to Musinguzi, they have deployed Maj. Osbert Nyebirweki to lead the intelligence coordination with the other security agencies in the sub-region.
Henry Musasizi, the Minister of State for Finance Planning and Economic Development regretted the deaths of innocent civilians during tax enforcement operations in the region. Musasizi appealed to all the stakeholders in the sub-region to join hands to stop smuggling and enhance domestic resource mobilization.
In March 2021, two enforcement officers from Uganda Revenue Authority Arua Customs were beaten into a coma by suspected residents of Yobuyia cell in Ayivu East Constituency Arua City after the team reportedly knocked a suspected rice smuggler with their car door during an operation.
Similarly, in May 2023, two Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) enforcement officers sustained injuries after angry Boda Boda cyclists in Zombo town council pelted them with stones while impounding an unregistered motorcycle.
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