Hon. Paul Mwiru the Jinja East legislator has blown the lid off yet another purported gold scandal that he alleges was complacently handled by key government agencies.
As such, the MP wants all agencies and individuals involved to be investigated thoroughly.
Mwiru claimed at a press conference today that late last month a gold consignment weighing 7 tons and worth USD 309 million was smuggled into the country from Venezuela by African Gold Refinery – the pioneer gold refinery in the country, — something police got wind of.
Venezuela is under intense economic sanctions from the United States
However soon after commencing investigations, he says, the Mineral Police department was instructed to back off in a letter from the Attorney General dated 26th March.
“I have documentary evidence to the effect that there has been a racket from the ministry of energy to the ministry of finance and actually to the attorney general’s chamber to evade taxes and also to avoid the forfeit of this gold”, Mwiru alleged.
When contacted, Fred Enanga the police spokesperson expressed ignorance about these allegations saying that first he needed to ascertain from Police’s mineral directorate about whether they have any information to this effect.
Officials from the State House anti-corruption unit also said they were unaware of this development.
Mwiru who was in possession of a cache of documents amongst which included; a letter from the IGG to the finance ministry, told press that half of this consignment was re-exported to a yet to be known destination without paying taxes worth USD 18 million or 67 billion shillings.
Using Tanzania’s example, Mwiru says this gold should have been forfeited to government as a national asset.
As an ultimatum, Mwiru is now calling upon the prime minister’s response in 14 working days, failure of which, he is threatening to lay the matter before parliament.
According to reports, Africa Gold Refinery already enjoys VAT deferments, deductions, exemptions and capital depreciation allowances since it was launched by President Kaguta Museveni in February 2017.