The Auditor General has found that the taxman required trailers to pay an exorbitant and illegal road toll – putting the government at risk of unnecessary and costly legal challenges.
In a wide ranging audit report to a Parliament this Friday, AG Obadiah R. Biraro says the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has Frw 12,333,648,015 in its books which is illegal.
The details behind the accumulation of this money, indicate how slow government agencies act on some operations, but quick to rush on others.
RRA has been illegally charging rates of USD 76 (Rwf 71,400) for a semi-trailer and USD 152 (Rwf 142,000) for a trailer.
The Auditor General writes: “These rates used to collect revenue were in contrary with article 2 of Law No 12/82 of 04 May 1982 that established road toll; this article states that road toll is fixed at Frw 5,600 for a semi-trailer and is doubled for a trailer.”
RRA collects the road toll on behalf of the Road Maintenance Fund (RMF). In other words, the tax agency was illegally collecting over Rwf 65,000 more from semi-trailers, and over Rwf 130,000 from trailers.
“The use of illegal tariff led to illegal collection of road toll which may result into loss of public funds in case their litigation raised by the owners of trailers based on illegal road toll charged.”
According to the AG’s report, the draft law introducing the new road tolls has been pending for over 4 years.
AG says: “Discussion with RRA management revealed that the used rates were proposed as changes and requested RMF to draft law on the same; however, the drafted law is not yet approved.”
“Further, it should be noted that similar issue was highlighted in the previous audit report for the year ended 30 June 2017.”