Doctor gets urgent hearing over seized N$21 million

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-The case of the doctor whose money was seized by the State will be heard on an urgent basis.

Livingstone David Mugimu, a Ugandan-born doctor based in the north had filled an urgent application seeking the return of N$21 million that was seized by the state for alleged tax evasion.

Last week Windhoek high court judge Hosea Angula gave an order that the doctor’s case qualified to be heard on an urgent basis and may not fall in the line of cases already on the court roll.

However, Judge Angula dismissed an application by the doctor for interim relief that will stop the State from further seizing the doctor’s money pending finalisation of his case.

In the application, Mugimu said as a result of the seizure he was unable to stock up critical expensive medication needed by his patients and furthermore is unable to pay the salaries of his five employees.

The Minister of Finance gave directives that any money that may come into any of Mugimu’s accounts was to be seized with immediate effect, after the doctor started to withdraw large sums from his accounts after being notified that an audit would be done on his finances.

Apart from the N$21 million seized, further deductions were made by the State from Mugimu’s account. Following investigations into his income tax assessment, Mugimu was said to have defrauded the State of an amount of N$37.9 million in taxes for under-declaring his earnings between 2014 and 2016.

“For the tax year 2017, the applicant made revenue of N$21,481,707, but he has only paid 3 percent of his tax liability,” noted Justus Mwafongwe, the commissioner of inland-revenue.
The State has lodged that Mugimu violated and continues to violate the Income Tax Act, as he has been under-declaring his annual income for tax purposes for some time.

According to responding documents filed in the high court, Muzimu had claimed more than N$26 million from the Public Service Employees Medical Aid Scheme (PSEMAS) between the period July 2015 and December 2016.

However, his self-assessment showed a huge discrepancy after he had claimed that he only earned just over N$6 million in the years under review

Based on documents filed by the Ministry of Finance, Muzimu had been under-declaring his finances and was said to owe the State N$17.7 million in unpaid taxes, with an additional fine of N$17.7 and N$2.5 million in interest, leaving him a hefty bill of N$37.9 million in taxes to be paid.

Mugimu took the minister of finance, the commissioner of inland-revenue, Bank Windhoek Limited, the Bank of Namibia and the prosecutor general to court, arguing that the five had seized his money in an arbitrary and unlawful manner.

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