The Rwandan Revenue Authority has placed Kigali’s Union Trade Centre — a $20 million mall owned by exiled tycoon Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa — among properties to be auctioned for defaulting on their taxes.
Mr Rujugiro has taken the Rwandan government to the East African Court of Justice for the alleged illegal seizure of his properties.
RRA has published a list of properties up for auction and among them is the mall, which in 2013 was put under the Nyarugenge District Commission of Abandoned Properties.
The government said the property and many others had been put under the management of the Commission of Abandoned Properties for “efficient management,” which among other things includes paying taxes and utility bills.
UTC was put on a list of 14 properties that RRA said “are immovable assets of taxpayers whose properties have been attached and will be auctioned.”
The taxes owed are from 2015, when the building was already in the hands of the Commission of Abandoned Properties.
By press time, The EastAfrican had failed to ascertain how much UTC owes the government.
The EACJ is yet to decide the ongoing case in Arusha in which Mr Rujugiro, who fell out with the government in 2010, seeks to redeem a number of his properties that have been seized.
The case filed in 2013 was dismissed by the First Instance Chamber of the EACJ, but later the Appeal Court ordered the Trial Court to hear it afresh “citing that parties had not been afforded an opportunity to present relevant evidence in support of their respective cases.”
The case is still pending before the trial court and no hearing date has so far been announced.