We have not closed WBS, We have only used one collection method among many to collect arrears. WBS is still going strong. @wbstvug
— UgandaRevenueAuthori (@URAuganda) April 11, 2016
Two city lawyers Joshua Ogwal and Kabiito Karamagi will manage Wavah Broadcasting Services (WBS) Television until Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) gets back money it is owed by the TV station.
WBS owes URA shs7.2billion in tax arrears. The accumulated dues originate from Pay as you earn (PAYE) and Value added tax (VAT) arrears dating back to 2006, according to the URA.
WBS and URA have agreed on a receivership to recover the money owed, and as of Monday April 11, 2016, are managing activities of the 17-year-old media institution until all the dues are fully settled.
According to URA, WBS owner Gordon Wavamunno was positive and agreed that receivership is the best way to recover the money. “For the past 17 year, WBS has been operational and contributed a lot to the economy of this country. A few years ago, we experienced challenges in both finance and management that led to the accumulation of tax arrears. As a responsible citizen, when URA approached me to join hands in tax collection, I agreed,” Wavamunno reportedly said.
Wavamunno reportedly said that he is ready and prepared to work closely with the new management as URA recovers the taxes. The arrangement is that the institution will be handed back to him after.
URA Commissioner Legal Service and Board Affairs Patience Tumusiime Rubagumya was confident that receivership would help WBS comply with its tax obligations and also remain in business.
“Today, we are marking the beginning of a new journey in the management of WBS as we attempt to recover shs7.2billion tax arrears. URA has appointed Karamagi and Ogwal to oversee the WBS business and ensure that objectives are made. As URA, we urge the viewers to receive the news in good faith.”
Rubagumya reassured WBS and its viewers that URA is not after closing people’s businesses in time of crisis, but to make sure that the taxes are recovered as the businesses remain operational. “Through Receivership, we could end up collecting the debt, and later on hand it back to its owner Prof Wavah, who has been very cooperative through this process.”
Karamagi, one of the receivers, noted that it’s one of the “rare corporate rescue cultures” that URA has exhibited and acknowledged the difficult task ahead.
“Placing a creditor into Receivership is one of the modern methods of enforcing collection of debts, through which a creditor, authorizes the debtor to appoint an independent professional to takeover the management of the business for such a period as the circumstances of the case may require.
The Receiver is given mandate to appraise the business operations, and collect funds out of its operations to settle the debt.”
“In short WBS, will operate under different management but still owned by Professor Gordon Wavamunno.”