The Court of Appeal has ruled that Uganda Revenue Authority will now have to pay for people’s goods lost or damaged in its possession.
This happen after Robert Bagala, a phones importer filled a suit against the body when his goods were confiscated in April 2011 at Entebbe Airport on suspicion that he hadn’t paid tax.
When he returned after clearing the tax, the body could not produce the goods and could not offer explanation on what had happened to them.
Justice Kenneth Kakuru and Justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi ruled that URA was under duty to take care of the goods it had confiscated. The two justices said URA had assumed a position of “constructive Bailee’ when it confiscated the goods and that it must show there was no negligence for the goods to lost or damaged.
The ruling creates precedence for companies and individuals whose goods are damaged or stolen from the custody of the tax body.
Robert Bagala has been awarded Shs. 10.5 million in special damages and Shs. 1 million in general damages for 35 pieces of phones he was importing.