URA contradicts police on deadly Yumbe riot

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The chaos in Yumbe

Police has spoken out on the Yumbe district incident in which a section of boda boda riders rioted and caused commotion in Yumbe town.

According to police spokesperson, SSP Emilian Kayima, the riot was sparked by a previous operation carried out by Uganda Revenue Authority [URA] aimed at cracking down on boda boda that were doing business without paying taxes.

The riders attacked a URA vehicle, stoned it and in self-defence, a soldier sot in the air.

Two people were injured in the police. They were identified as Gaddafi and Jamal. They were rushed to hospital for treatment.

The rioters burnt two vehicles belonging to a Danish Church Aid [an NGO] and a motorcycle.

Kayima said a couple of suspects have since been arrested and the situation brought under control.

URA refutes the tale

In a statement, URA said the reports that claimed that the riots were triggered by Uganda Revenue Authority enforcement activities, which reportedly led to loss of life, were not true.

Although there was a riot in Yumbe, the reports are not an accurate account of what transpired, the statement said.

“There was no URA enforcement operation in Yumbe district today. Representatives of our legal team were in Yumbe on litigation duty at the district court. An organized mob attacked our legal team, pelting them with stones as a show of resistance of the enforcement team’s operations in the area against smuggled rice and unregistered motorbikes “bodabodas”,” URA explained.

It said the legal team sought refuge in the court house to save their lives. Shots were fired in the air by our security detail to disperse the crowds at the court premises.

“After being dispersed, the rioters regrouped, armed with arrows and stones, attacked our vehicle and smashed the wind screens. A URA security team managed to disperse them again without injuring anyone. Contrary to what is circulating on social media that URA shot and killed two civilians, no one was shot and, hence, no life was lost.”

It said the security forces have since ensured that normalcy returns to Yumbe district. We assure the public that we do not condone violence.

“We inform the public that the practice of smuggling motorcycles from neighbouring countries leads to revenue loss and affects the business of taxpayers, who legitimately pay the due taxes. URA will continue to sensitize the public in West Nile region and continue enforce compliance.”

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