Rally driver Ponsiano Lwakataka was last Friday arrested again when he was allegedly intercepted with immature fish in Mbarara District en route to DR Congo.
However, he was later released from police under questionable circumstances.
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) said its revenue enforcement officers and police arrested Mr Lwakataka and his crew after a long chase.
According to an eyewitness Denis Kato, a Fusso truck registration number UAY 123R was stopped at a revenue checkpoint in Mbarara Town but it defied orders of the URA law enforcement personnel and proceeded.
“This prompted URA staff to chase the truck driver but he tried to block the URA vehicle from overtaking,” Mr Kato said.
However, after a 20km chase along the Mbarara-Bushenyi highway, the URA officers overtook the truck at Kabwohe in Sheema District and blocked the road ahead.
The truck was carrying immature fish from Ggaba in Kampala to DR Congo. A source in URA who declined to be named said the fish belonged to Mr Lwakataka.
After the URA officers blocked the road, the driver abandoned the truck in the middle of the road and fled into the bush.
The revenue officers hired a driver to return the truck to Mbarara, Lwakataka intercepted it a short distance away, grabbed it and drove it away.
“Mr Lwakataka pulled the driver, whom URA officers had hired to drive the truck back to Mbarara, out of the driver’s seat. When the driver resisted, Mr Lwakataka pointed a pistol at him and drove off the truck,” one of the URA officers said.
He said Mr Lwakataka overpowered the URA personnel and drove away the truck.
A fresh chase for the truck ensued this time around with the rally driver himself in charge. The URA personnel said Mr Lwakataka employed his rally skills behind the steering and gave them hard time chasing him through the narrow and dusty village roads in Sheema.
“But we managed to arrest him after deflating two tyres of the truck,” the URA official said.
He said Mr Lwakataka was handcuffed and taken to Kabwohe Police Post. But was later released with his fish in the night.
The Sheema District Police Commander, Mr Innocent Mubangizi, confirmed Lwakataka’s arrest but declined to give details. He said the matter was still under investigation.
“We are investigating a case of drawing a firearm at someone. Other issues are not my mandate,” Mr Mubangizi said briefly and went mute.