Kampala. Despite President Museveni assenting to the Trade Licensing Amendment Act, 2015, which if implemented would have eased trading fee payment burden, it appears Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is still conducting its business using the old law.
Ms Monica Chebet has no kind words for KCCA. In recent weeks she has had her kiosk shut down numerous times by KCCA officials, demanding trading licence fee.
For years now, she said she has been paying at least Shs350,000 as trading licence fee to KCCA, an amount of money that is nearly equivalent to the total capital she has injected in her business.
Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde, nearly six months ago while announcing the new law, said Trade Licensing Amendment Act, 2015, is meant to streamline trade in goods and services.
She said the amended law, among other things, provides for increase in the number of grades in the city, municipalities and towns from the current 2 to 4 grades. Unlike before where traders would pay for licenses irrespective of their grade - size of business - the new law requires that each enterprise is licenced according to its size.
In an interview with KCCA manager communications and media relations Peter Kaujju last week, it emerged that the city managers are going about their work with the old law - Trade Licencing Act and Ordinance and not the amended one.
He said: “We are a law abiding institution and we always endeavour to operate within the confines of the law,” continuing: “We are charging our trading licence using the right law whose rates were revised in 2012. This is a difficult task. In most cases we have to enforce the law or else people do not pay the licence fee.”
Ministry of Trade commissioner for internal trade Raymond Agaba, said KCCA and other urban authorities that are supposed to implement the new law are not to blame.
He said the law is yet to be gazetted and printed partly due to resources.
He said: “Before the law is implemented, we will have to do the grading for various rates across the country and this is no mean feat. Then after that there are more legal processes involving the Ministry of Justice, and all this will take a little bit of time.”
Meanwhile, outgoing Member of Parliament for Makindye East John Ssimbwa, has issued a notice to sue KCCA for continuing to use the old law.
Kampala City Traders Association chairman, Mr Everist Kayondo, told Daily Monitor yesterday this is a matter they are going to take up with the Ministry of Trade once they internalise the amended law.