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Kuteesa’s daughter in sh700m tax scam

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th December 2002 03:00 AM

State minister for investment Sam Kutesa’s daughter was yesterday named in a sh700m tax evasion case, before the commission probing corruption in the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)

State minister for investment Sam Kutesa’s daughter was yesterday named in a sh700m tax evasion case, before the commission probing corruption in the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)

By Milton Olupot

State minister for investment Sam Kutesa’s daughter was yesterday named in a sh700m tax evasion case, before the commission probing corruption in the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

Ishta Asiimwe, trading under the name Rabo Company, in partnership with Ms Amina Hashi, an Asian of Kenyan origin, allegedly evaded taxes on the import of 5,000 metric tonnes of cement.

The commission, chaired by Justice Julia Ssebutinde, was yesterday inquiring into a case in which six URA officers allegedly colluded with Amina Hashi, a co-director in yet another company, Shamed Co. Ltd., importers of Sugar, causing loss of over sh230m in taxes.

URA officers Justine Byaruhanga, Arinaitwe Kashumba, John Simbwa, John Wafula, Adeline Bamwine and David Magomba, were charged in May this year with causing about sh232m loss.

Amina is a director in both Rabo Company and Shamed Co. Ltd, both accused of evading taxes. The other shareholder in Shamed Co. is Ahmed Adam Ali registered at a Mbale town address.

Rabo Company is registered using the Box number of Kuteesa and Co. Advocates.

The witnesses included the URA commissioner general, Aslund Annebritt, commissioners Allen Kagina and Adrian Kyamugina of Customs and Excise and Tax Investigations respectively.

The others were CID officer Gerald Begumisa, Special Revenue Prevention Services (SRPS) chief Maj. Herbert Mbonye and a URA investigator, Daniel Kikwaya.

Mbonye said his investigations at the Registry of Companies revealed that Rabo is a sister company to Shamed Co. Ltd., which is also implicated in tax evasion. The directors are Amina and Asiimwe.

The commission heard that Amina Hashi and her clearing agent, David Byarugaba, have never been charged although they were arrested together with the URA officers.

Ssebutinde lashed out at the Police and SRPS for shielding the tax evaders.

Begumisa, who investigated the case together with the SRPS staff said he did not charge Amina and Byarugaba because he received instructions from his superiors.

Begumisa, who kept on changing his statements, said the CID director, Mrs. Elizabeth Kuteesa, and Kototyo of the Fraud Squad, called for the file before he could prepare the charge sheet for the two and he never saw the file again.

The DPP had advised that the files for the URA staff be separated from that of the importer and her clearing agent and since then, the file has reportedly remained at the CID chief’s office for the last six months.

“Someone in CID decided to protect these people from prosecution. You have not learnt anything from the previous probe into the Police. Why didn’t you have duplicate files so that you could continue investigations,” she asked Begumisa.

“Even the SRPS had the zeal but when they realised that there were big shots involved, you had to do damage control. This lady certainly has connections; it would even be a waste of time prosecuting her. I think what is important is for you to recover our taxes.

“Why would this file lie on the director of CID’s desk for six months? This is a travesty of justice for the small fish to be in prison to appease the media while the big fish, the primary culprits, walk away free,” Ssebutinde added.

Kuteesa’s daughter in sh700m tax scam

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