Opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi, 39, has lately won more plaudits from his supporters for outsmarting government after he showcased a purported armored brand new SUV on Sunday parked at his palatial residence in Magere, Wakiso District.
Bobi Wine took to social media sites to thank a group in and outside Uganda that championed the fundraising of the car, an uphill task- however, they delivered.
“There is another group of comrades who kick-started a fundraising campaign for a bullet proof vehicle. These comrades informed me of their plan, but I thought it was an uphill task, given how expensive it is. A few weeks ago, these comrades surprised me when they informed me that they had succeeded in raising enough money for the vehicle, and here it is. I can’t THANK YOU enough,” Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine said Sunday.
His revelation has since split the public into two sections; a clique that probes the manner in which Kyagulanyi outsmarted security and shipped in the car and another faction which believes the car neutralizes explosives, moves in water and is equipped with torpedoes.
The car has become the talk of the town with a debate hinging on whether it is armored or not.
TrumpetNews understands that for any armored vehicle to enter Uganda, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) must seek clearance from security before fully certifying documents of ownership.
“Security must understand why the owner needs an armored vehicle, what is the magnitude of the threat, can’t that threat be managed by police, etc,” an official at URA told this website.
This website understands that no such questions were raised in relation to clearance of Kyagulanyi’s new SUV Toyota Landcruiser V8.
This website has further obtained details how the SUV registration number UBJ 667F was brought into the country without URA noticing that it belongs to Mr Kyagulanyi.
How it Entered
Details from Uganda Revenue Authority indicate that the car was bought from Kenya by a Ugandan businessman Mr Fauz Khalid a car dealer/ seller and resident of Busiro East in Wakiso District.
In Kenya it was registered as a 2019 model with registration number KCY550X.
The car arrived to Nakawa last week through Busia border in the names of the above businessman and a clearing process began in which Mr Khalid was given a tax assessment of shs 88 million by the Custom officers.
“A tax of 88 million was levied because Khalid undervalued the car on grounds that it is a 2018 model,” said an official at URA.
“It is not a brand new car from Toyota as claimed. It is used,” added an official who asked not to be named.
Upon clearance, Mr Khalid transferred the car into Robert Kyagulanyi’s names after obtaining the Ugandan number plate and the car was driven to Magere straight.
It should be noted that any adult Ugandan can purchase a car outside Uganda and pay its taxes on behalf of someone and later change ownership like what Khalid did for Kyagulanyi.
However, it has since turned out that the SUV is a 2019 model and declaring it as 2018 was a ploy to evade taxes.
The officers who assessed, verified and cleared this SUV would later be summoned by the Commissioner Customs Department (CCD) Abel Kagumire to respond to a number of queries.
It has also emerged that the weight of car is slightly different from one which is armored, “unless otherwise,” a source added.
Efforts by this website to reach Mr Kagumire for a comment were unsuccessful by press time as he couldn’t pick our repeated calls.
URA spokesperson Ian Rumanyika was unavailable for a comment by press time.
As to whether the car is armored and the importer(s) never notified URA and security, then they should immediately be arrested.
“Unless there was a directive by higher authorities to clear the car immediately at Nakawa,” a source added.
A security analyst familiar with military hardware exportation and transfers said that there are armored but unarmed cars/trucks. Armored but unarmed cars provide no more than psychological protection.
“The car/truck described in Bobi Wine’s case appears to be armored and armed,” he said.
Armored and armed trucks (real protection) have features like explosive-resistant fuel tank, bullet proof glass, a fire suppressant system, Kevlar armor, run-flat tires, shocking door handles and ballistic protection system.
Features of armored and armed cars (real protection, as opposed to psychological protection) trigger “military assets” issue for purposes of the Military Court in Uganda.
He said that countries like United State of America controls exportation of such cars for national security, regional stability and anti-terrorism reasons.
“Which is why the Secretary of State and Secretary of Commerce have International powers under the EAR and ITAR, respectively,” he said.
The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic Arms Regulations (ITAR) make a distinction between Armored but unarmed trucks/cars (called EAR99) and Armored & armed (called ECCN).
“Exportation of armored-unarmed cars does not require authorization by the Directorate of Defense Trade Control for the reasons I mentioned.”
The description of the truck Bobi Wine allegedly bought fits armored-armed category.
“If Bobi Wine’s car is armored-unarmed category, then the protection it has is no more than psychological.
However, If the car is armored-armed, then; will be arrested because the feature of armored-armed truck are military tools or assets.”
He says such a truck can’t have come from the US or any of Uganda’s allies because of EAR and ITAR Compliance requirements.
If an armored-armed car was exported to Uganda by the US or any ally , then the government of Uganda cleared that transaction with the US Directorate of Defense Trade control, per EAR & ITAR export compliance rules.