At least two Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers attached to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) were on Friday evening injured in Zombo Town Council during clashes with angry boda boda riders.
The incident happened when the soldiers were in an operation to impound unregistered motorcycles that are common at the border towns of Zombo District.
Speaking to this publication, URA’s Northern Region Customs Manager Sylvester Kiwanuka confirmed that the tax body’s car and two soldiers were stoned by boda-boda riders.
“The incident happened in Zombo District when our enforcement teams were stoned by residents while trying to cause an arrest on unregistered motorcycles. Unfortunately, two of our enforcement teams were injured by the angry residents,” Mr Kiwanuka said.
URA has long battled with Zombo District Boda boda riders in a bid to collect taxes although some of the riders complained of high taxes in acquiring number plates that go for about Shs1.3 million.
According to one of the boda-boda riders in the area, it is true that most of the youth are operating boda boda business with numberless motorcycles from DR Congo due to the high cost of acquiring a number plate in Uganda.
The boda boda rider, Charles Bithum, adds that he got a Shs3 million loan from their Emyooga group Sacco and crossed to DR Congo where he bought a numberless motorcycle with a plan to start processing the Ugandan number plate.
“The motorcycle was impounded after three months, making me unemployed. The government should reduce the cost of acquiring the number plate to at least Shs750,000 and this will make many to acquire the number plates,” Bithum said.
Zombo Town Council LC3 chairman Naftali Ocama urged residents to desist from attacking revenue collectors since taxes are the base of development.