65% of alcohol manufacturers not registered 

Illicit alcohol remains a challenge to manufacturers and government as a whole. Photo / File 

What you need to know:

  • Uganda Alcohol Industry Association says only 35 percent of alcohol manufacturers in Uganda pay tax.
  • Government loses about Shs2 trillion in taxable revenue. 

The Uganda Alcohol Industry Association has said about 65 per cent of alcohol manufacturers in Uganda are unregistered, which not only makes government lose a lot of taxable revenue but also exposes people to health risks. 

Speaking at a public-private sector dialogue on illicit trade in Uganda, Ms Juliana Kaggwa, the Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) corporate relations director, said only 35 per cent of alcohol manufacturers in Uganda pay tax, which makes government lose about Shs2 trillion in taxable revenue. 

Therefore, she added, this means that at least 65 per cent of alcohol manufacturers in Uganda are not registered anywhere and are not taxed.

“About Shs2 trillion of taxes is what we lose. But it should be the job of an individual to question why they are drinking something whose source they don’t know,” Ms Kaggwa said, noting that their intervention, as an association, has been frustrated with trade in illicit alcohol growing at rate of 9 per cent per annum in the last five years.

Dr Julius Byaruhanga the Private Sector Foundation Uganda director of policy & business development, said illicit trade in alcohol is deeply entrenched, which means that to curb it sector players must have a clear action point, which might involve coming up with a public-private sector mechanism and framework. 

“That technical group should be able to draw an action plan detailing roles of each of the players both public and public sector,” he said. 

On his part, Mr David Livingstone Ebiru, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) executive director, said trade in illicit alcohol continues to thrive due to production in ungazetted places such as backyards of people’s homes.

Illicit alcohol, he noted, beyond having a security bearing on the economy and persons, exposes people to the consumption of unsafe products and tilts the trade balance.