By Edward Kayiwa
THE Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) is set to extend its footprint to 51 countries across the globe, following a new partnership with the Fast Forwarders; a transportation company operating in 52 countries across the globe.
While launching the partnership in Kampala recently, KACITA’s chairman Everest Kayondo said the partnership comes at a time when many Ugandans trading from Asia, Europe and North America are facing insurmountable challenges and need KACITA’s presence to expand beyond Uganda’s borders.
“Our traders have got many problems and if we just sit here and don’t help, we shall be defeating KACITA’s objectives. Ugandans trading from America, Asia and Europe have for long asked us to open our doors there, but now this partnership will go a long way in addressing that,” he said.
Under the agreement, the fast forwarder’s offices, in all the 51 countries from which it operates, will be accessed by KACITA traders for any help or business relating to KACITA, including soft loans offered at a 2% interest rate.
Isa Ssekitto, KACITA’s spokesperson, said the agreement is expected among other things to address issues such as tax clearance and other dues under groupage cargo by providing a special package under which traders will clear taxes separately and also bear full responsibility over their goods.
“We have been receiving a lot of complaints from our members, especially in China and Dubai, about conmen who mascaraed as traders and hire containers, trick small cargo traders to collectively pay taxes and fleece them. These conmen, who usually charge a lot more than is required from our people, at times even claim the goods as their own and cause huge loses to KACITA members,” he said.
“We want to stop such acts through partnerships with legitimate forwarders and call upon other clearing agencies in the country to offer the kind of help we need in order to secure the interests of our traders,” he added.
Also, Kayondo said plans to open a trader’s bank, the first of its kind in Uganda, are in advanced stages and soon, the bank will be opening its doors to the public.
“We are in advanced stages of opening a bank to facilitate our traders. We are going to meet to decide on issues such as the name, the capital requirement by Bank of Uganda and location of the bank,” he said. “I am also sure that very soon, our door shall be open to both the public and our colleagues, the traders.”