Central Division suspends trading licence collection

Friday May 18 2012

By Robert Mwanje

Kampala Central Division urban council has suspended the collection of trading licences, citing several illegalities and unprofessionalism.

The hastily convened meeting called by division mayor Godfrey Nyakana accused the technical team of overcharging the public, demanding irrelevant documents before issuing licences to particular traders, harassment and arrogance while on duty.

“Why would some one ask for my marriage certificate to issue me a trading licence? Some have demanded for tenancy agreements as if they are landlords,” Mr Nyakana said yesterday.

He added: “It’s prudent that KCCA serve the public with passion instead of being arrogant.”

Office closed
The meeting resolved to close the licensing office at the division headquarters, forcing the technical staff to vacate office until a clear position is reached.

More than 15 councillors signed a petition demanding the City Executive Director, Ms Jennifer Musisi’s immediate intervention or KCCA forgets all about collecting taxes.

KCCA Director for Revenue Collection Phoebe Lutaaya did not give any substantive comment on the matter.
“We will get back to you later,” she said on phone.

The developments come days after Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago recently criticised the ongoing closure of shops over unpaid licence arrears and warned the executive director over a possible demonstration against field officers’ unprofessionalism.

Refund cash
He demanded that KCCA instead refunds traders’ fees which were illegally collected by the defunct Kampala City Council.

The development may, however, worsen the already poorly performing local revenue collection following a recent demonstration by drivers following their court injunction against KCCA.

According to treasury services directorate standing committee report for the third quarter 2011/12, KCCA has experienced a tremendous decline in revenue collection from the usual Shs3.5 billion per month to Shs1.9 billion.
The decline is largely blamed on political intrigue.

“This trend has negative implications on funding of the budget and if not checked immediately, it may lead to a number of activities in the work plan not being implemented,” the report reads in part.

Traders pay fees depending on the kind and size of business.

The amount of money ranges between Shs50,000 and Shs1,00,000.

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