KCCA refuses to give licences to traders
Posted Wednesday, March 6 2013 at 02:00
Ms Musisi says the Centenary Park is designated as a green open space and must be preserved as such.
After declaring Centenary Park an area not designated for businesses like bars and entertainment, Kampala Capital City
Authority (KCCA) has denied proprietors of businesses at the venue trading licences.
This has pitted the KCCA executive director, Ms Jennifer Musisi, against Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde, who believes
that traders operating at Centenary Park must be issued with trading licences like others in the city. Although Ms
Kyambadde yesterday asked for more time to go through a letter she received from Ms Musisi on her earlier response, the
latter made it clear that traders at Centenary Park are operating illegally.
In her March 4 letter, Ms Musisi maintained that the park is designated as a green open space and must be preserved as
such. “KCCA has been in the process of streamlining land use compatibility. In this regard, businesses which are not
compatible with designated/planned land use are not being licenced. This has affected bars, places of entertainment
among others,” she said in a three-page letter addressed to Ms Kyambadde.
Speaking to the Daily Monitor yesterday Ms Kyambadde said she intervened in the matter after receiving complaints from
traders. “I had to come in as a line minister because these( traders at Centenary Park) are among the people my
ministry is supposed to assist,” she said.
Ms Musisi first clashed with Ms Kyambadde last year when the latter protested the heavy-handed manner in which KCCA law enforcers handled the demolition of structures at Centenary Park.
The Trade (Licensing ) Act makes trading in goods and services of any kind without a valid licence illegal and anybody
who engages in such trade committees an offence . However, the Lord Mayor, Mr Erias Lukwago, said despite the fact that
M/s Nalongo Estates Ltd, which manages Centenary Park reportedly irregularly acquired the contract, the traders should
not be victimised.
“I don’t condone illegalities but it is not enough for Ms Musisi to decide as an individual and say that traders at
the park shouldn’t get licences . Let her bring the matter in the Authority and we discuss it,” Mr Lukwago said.
He said licence payment rates should be reviewed, adding that many small business owners, who could have been exempted
from the tax were inappropriately assessed and are charged like well-established business owners. The issue of trading
licences has remained sticky and in some areas of the city, KCCA has had trouble collecting trading licence fees from
traders with some claiming that they are not supposed to pay it.
On many occasions KCCA law enforcers have clashed with angry traders accusing them of levying a suspended tax. Last
week, KCCA started prosecuting about 1000 traders for defaulting on trading licence. The authority is seeking to
generate at least Shs14b from trade licences alone by the end of the financial year 2012/2013.
In 2010 , KCCA lost about Shs600 million in uncollected taxes, blaming it on political interference at all levels