- Lugumi's allegations come just days after Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe claimed that the authority had imposed a Sh2 billion in tax bill while he was in custody at Segerea Prison in 2018, then seized all his accounts and wiped them clean.
Dar es Salaam. Businessman Said Lugumi has resurfaced claiming that his houses that failed to get buyers when the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) tried to auction them in 2017 have been illegally leased.
Apart from the allegations, Lugumi has also denied the allegations of owing TRA Sh14 billion, which is the reason why the authority is holding his houses, one in Upanga and two in Mbweni JKT in Dar es Salaam, saying the actual tax claim is Sh3.6 billion.
When asked about the lease, TRA officials said they had no information and that tax issues were a secret of the authority and the taxpayer concerned.
"I don't have that information, but tax issues are private, the law does not allow us to divulge such information, it is confidential,” TRA Assistant Commissioner, Msafiri Mbibo.
Lugumi's allegations come just days after Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe claimed that the authority had imposed a Sh2 billion in tax bill while he was in custody at Segerea Prison in 2018, then seized all his accounts and wiped them clean.
Speaking to Mwananchi yesterday, Lugumi said apart from discovering that his houses hand been rented out, he lost all his belongings which were in the houses at the time when they were confiscated.
"Things were being done by force, that's why most of my properties were taken from those houses, especially the Upanga house where my office was located," claimed Lugumi, who did not say how much the items were worth.
Regarding tax claims, Lugumi said, “I do not owe them that amount of money, all I know is Sh3.6 billion. They brought the bill in 2012 and they were the ones who gave me the interest exemption. In 2017 they brought the bill again using the taskforce (task force), then immediately the police came, ”he said.
When asked why he has not gone to TRA for talks in order to resolve the matter, he said; "I can’t take back those houses until they return the equipment which was taken," he said.
Despite two attempts to auction the house by brokerage firm Yono Auction Mart, there were no bids to match the value of the respective houses.
When reporters visited the houses in Upanga they found people living there, with one of the tenants claiming the houses were fully occupied.
Meanwhile, at Mbweni one of the guards, who preferred anonymity, said the houses were being rented out.
"Two houses have been rented out and only one is vacant. There are ordinary people and students living here,”said the guard.
Lawyer Onesmo Mpinzile says that in the event of an auction fails to find a buyer who can pay the required value, the law allows the plaintiff to use other means to obtain his money.
"He can run the secured property until his debt is settled or he can find someone to run on his behalf and they can enter into a joint venture with the debtor to run the business until the plaintiff gets the money he is claiming," said the lawyer.