By Aluma Clement
Arua- Boda-boda motorcyclists in Arua are allegedly sharing the newly introduced white double number plates for the motorcycles.
As a result, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) law enforcement unit has intensified its crackdown on the offenders and also impounding the numberless motorcycles in the West Nile region.
Sources in the URA Arua office also reveal that unscrupulous locals are allegedly making fake number plates which appear like the original ones.
Godson Mwesigye, URA manager for Northern Uganda said they were cracking down on the vice. “We cannot allow that to happen, we are not seated, we are cracking down on these forged number plates and numberless motorcycles,” he said.
He attributed most of the cases to the long porous border between Uganda and DR Congo and South Sudan as well as the poor tax regimes in Congo.
“These numberless motorcycles are a threat to our security, if it knocks you, you will not trace it and are the ones which are also used by wrong elements in the community to commit crimes. You don’t find this kind of thing anywhere in the country apart from West Nile region,” Mwesigye said.
He said about 200 motorcycles had so far been impounded which would be auctioned after a given period of time if the owners don’t reclaim them after fulfilling the requirements.
But a resident of Arua town, Moses Otrima said: “The charges of acquiring a number plate are too high which can even make me buy a new Senke motorcycle from Congo, so if they impound it, I abandon it with them then go and buy another one.”
Meanwhile URA has also increased its operations to impound smuggled sugar, powdered milk and rice which have flooded to Arua markets. Officials say that the trend if, if not controlled may affect local producers.
Most of the rice is coming from Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo while milk is from Khartoum in Sudan and makes its way into the country with local traders and refugee.