Uganda Revenue Authority has dismissed claims of holding onto the radiotherapy machine procured by the Ministry of Health, Chimp Corps report.
The tax body’s Manager Public and Corporate Affairs, Ian Rumanyika told ChimpReports that the “machine is tax exempt,” adding, “even tax exempt goods must follow customs procedures to code them as tax exempt.”
Journalists who converged at Radiotherapy Unit in Mulago to witness the official unveiling of the Cobalt 60 Teletherapy machine on Wednesday morning were shocked to hear that the machine is not yet at the facility.
The Executive Director of Uganda Cancer Institute, Dr. Jackson Orem later told journalists that some “steps” were not reconciled and the machine couldn’t reach Mulago.
It was alleged that the shipping company had not cleared its tax obligations which compelled URA to hold release of the machine.
But Rumanyika said the “machine was declared to customs and released. It is waiting the responsible parties to pick.”
Asked why URA took long to hand over the machine, Rumanyika responded: “This machine was released immediately after lodgement under method 1 and it doesn’t pay taxes because it’s exempted.”
He said the “entry number is C61459 and it was released and exited from Customs.”
Rumanyika said the relevant authorities “are yet to take it out of the bonded warehouse. URA did her part of releasing the machine.”
The machine bought at Euros 664,830.00 is supposed to be tax exempted, according to documents from the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
“This is to certify that Cobalt-60 Teletherapy unit TERABALT equipment and materials destined for Uganda, are free of import taxes, fees and dues from which the International Atomic Energy Agency is exempted by virtue of the privileges and immunities accorded to it by its member states,” one the letters from IAEA dated June, reads in part.
For the record: This corrects an earlier version of the story which indicated that URA had not released the machine due to unfulfilled tax obligations.