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URA drafts defence on whistleblower sh836m claim

By Andante Okanya

Added 17th February 2017 10:05 AM

The defendants are jointly listed as URA and the Commissioner General(CG).

Akol 703x422

Rose Akol is the CG

The Uganda Revenue Authority has said it is drafting an appropriate response to a claim that it owes sh836m to a whistleblower.

The tax body is acting on a court directive to Commissioner General(CG) Doris Akol, to respond to claims that it owes Lorna Kamau sh836m.

On Wednesday, URA Commissioner Legal Services and Board Affairs, Patience Tumusiime Rubagumya, confirmed to New Vision, receipt of the summons. She said an appropriate response was being drafted.

“We have received the summons. We are studying the case and gathering documentation. We shall file a statement of defence within 15 days,” Rubagumya said.

​In the summons dated February 8, 2017, the registrar of the civil division of the High Court in Kampala, has ordered the tax collector and its chief steward, to file a defence, within 15 days.

The have been cautioned to heed within 15 days from the date of receipt of court summons, lest the case is heard and judgement passed without their input.

“Should you fail to file your defence on or before the date above mentioned, the plaintiff may proceed with the suit and judgement may be given in your absence,” the order by Alex Ajiji, reads in part.

The case file has been allocated to Justice Margaret Oguli-Oumo. However, a hearing date is yet to be scheduled.

Background

Kamau is demanding that URA pay her sh836m, as a reward for purportedly divulging sh8.3b in withholding tax from telecom company Airtel Uganda Limited.

On February 8, Lorna Kamau, filed a civil suit at the civil division of the High Court in Kampala. She claims she is legally entitled to 10% of the amount recovered, in accordance with the Finance Act.

The defendants are jointly listed as URA and the Commissioner General(CG).Rose Akol is the CG.

Through Nexus Solicitors & Advocates, Kamau claims she revealed the information to URA on September 29, 2015 but that despite several reminders, URA has remained reluctant, causing her to suffer.

She asserts that it was on the basis of her effort, that on February 26, last year, URA collected the sh8.3b withholding tax.

Kamau states that on October 7 last year, the tax body also collected sh30m value added tax.

She purports that URA ignored her notice of intention to sue.Kamau wants court to pronounce that she is legally entitled to the sh836m  by virtue of her status as an informer.

The whistleblower wants interest on the sum to be pegged at 20% from the date of filing the case until full payment. ENDS​

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