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High Court dismisses mobile money tax case

The High Court in Kampala has thrown out a case in which two mobile money users sued Uganda Revenue Authority for taxing their mobile money deposits.

Government recently scrapped off taxes on depositing money on mobile money accounts prompting two concerned Ugandans including John Robert Turyakira and Anthony Odur to sue telecom companies and the tax body demanding for a refund.

Last week, Justice Musa Ssekaana ruled that  it was wrong for the applicants to file the matter because mobile money deposits were never taxed after government made a change in decision and directed all telecom companies to stop collecting the 1% tax on mobile money deposits before it could come into effect.

“I wonder why the applicants decided to file this application .Was it over zealousness or trying to gain some popularity out of a court case,” Justice Ssekaana wondered.

He said that by the time the two mobile money users filed the application, the matter had already been overtaken by events and there was nothing to adjudicate about.

The judge said the court could not preside over a case that has been overtaken by events, wondering why the applicants wasted court’s time with such a case.

“The function of a court of law is to decide an actual case and to right actual wrongs and not to exercise the mind by indulging in unrewarding academic casuistry or in pursuing the useless aim of jousting with windfalls,” Justice Ssekaana said in his ruling.

He added that the issued raised by the applicants had been clarified and resolved by the letter of the Commissioner General for URA  on  July 4, 2018 way before the application was filed  on July 12.

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“In the result, I find this application to be lacking in merit and overtaken by events and it is hereby dismissed.”



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