Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has recalled its personnel who were attached to the tax collection body.
ChimpReports has learned that among those leaving the tax body is URA’s Security manager, Lt Col Ezekiel Matsiko.
The UPDF says Matsiko together with other officers who had served long at URA were meant to be recalled.
Matsiko was in charge of soldiers deployed to carry out many operations including anti-smuggling.
The development comes after the Board of URA forced senior officials, Henry Saka, Dicksons Kateshumbwa and Siraji Kanyesigye to resign from their positions.
The officials said they resigned on their own will.
Earlier today, we reported that Matsiko was under scrutiny by the new leadership and a special team from the president’s office tasked with the cleanup of the tax collection body.
Defence spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire dismissed claims that Matsiko was involved in any wrongdoing.
“Lt Col Matsiko is among the nine officers and 177 soldiers whose tour of duty with URA came to the end and had to be recalled to UPDF headquarters for redeployment,” said Karemire.
“This was in line with the provisions of the new MOU signed between the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs and Uganda Revenue Authority,” he emphasised.
Brig Karemire said Matsiko had been replaced by Col Sam Kirya, an officer with considerable military experience in intelligence and operations.
He explained that “all those officers and men that had served with URA for a time varying between 3 to 14 years were deseconded,” adding, “A new team headed by Col Sam Kirya has since been attached to support URA’s enforcement tasks.”
However, the new team is yet to take over as the soldiers will have to receive some training to be fully prepared for their job.
Officials said Matsiko was attached to Corporate Affairs Department where he was tasked with provision of security for URA’s top leadership and overseeing protection of various facilities run by the tax collection body.
“Matsiko is still in office until a new team arrives here. We expect Kirya’s team to start work around August,” said a high ranking URA official who spoke to us on condition of anonymity as he’s not authorized to speak to the press.