RCC Lauds URA, UPDF For Clearing Arua Streets Of illicit Fuel



ARUA. The Arua Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Dr. Alice Akello has commended the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) for clearing Arua City streets of illicit sale of fuel.

According to Akello, the government has been losing a lot of revenue to smugglers who had turned it into a habit to sell fuel along the streets in the city thus rendering fuel stations useless.

“I want to thank URA and UPDF for the cooperation you have rendered us in the city. Today the city is clean because of your effort. I want to thank you (URA and UPDF) for the peaceful operations you have done to clean the city of the illicit trade of fuel,” Akello said.

The RCC made the remarks while presiding over the launch of Tarehe Sita week at the Arua City Mayor’s Garden on Wednesday.

The UPDF from the 409 Brigade was on the fateful day joined by police officers attached to Arua CPS to clean the city and later extend their activities during the army week to other neighboring districts of Arua, Terego, and Madi Okollo.

Dr. Akello during the launch of Tarehe Sita week in Arua city on Wednesday. PHOTO BY ANDREW COHEN AMVESI

But during the function, Akello emphasized that the illegal sale of fuel in Arua had become a big challenge to the city authority not until all stakeholders were brought on board to give support to URA and the UPDF to end the vice.

“At first, it looked like we were failing on the issue of the illegal sale of fuel but when we involved all of you, the city is now clean. Thank you so much and let us continue with this spirit,” Akello said before declaring the Tarehe Sita week launched.

According to URA, at least shs366bn in revenue was lost between September and December 2022 due to fuel smuggling as genuine fuel dealers were not realizing business.

Fuel smuggling has remained a lucrative business in West Nile as dealers sell fuel they smuggle from DR Congo and South Sudan cheaply as compared to the main licensed fueling stations in the region.

Akello also used the opportunity to invite the public to attend the Arua City belated 37th NRM Liberation Day celebration slated to take place at the OPM grounds in Arua Central Division on Friday (tomorrow).

In his remarks, Col. Ben Sserwadda, the 409 Brigade Commander warned soldiers against caning civilians, saying the action is against the UPDF Act.

He instead urged the soldiers to help and maintain their good relationship with the public every time they go out there to perform their duties.

“Caning a civilian is a crime in the UPDF Act, it is not part of the code and conduct. We are Uganda’s People’s Defence Force and for that reason, we can’t become a problem to the people we are to protect. So, if you go out there to sweep, interact with the community very well,” Sserwadda advised.

Tarehe Sita marks the day National Resistance Army (NRA) rebels launched an attack on Kabamba barracks as part of their military campaign against the Milton Obote-led government on February 6th, 1981 which later ushered in the leadership of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) government.

This year’s Tarehe Sita celebration will be held in Mbarara under the theme: “Recognizing the Sacrifice of the founders of the People’s Revolution for social economic transformation.”


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