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KACITA was bribed to strike, says Kweronda

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th December 2005 03:00 AM

Pakistan businesspeople paid Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) and market vendors to strike so that the formers’ rice market can be protected by reduction in taxes, an outgoing envoy has said.

By David Muwanga
Pakistan businesspeople paid Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) and market vendors to strike so that the formers’ rice market can be protected by reduction in taxes, an outgoing envoy has said.
The outgoing ambassador to Geneva, Switzerland, Kweronda Ruhemba said, “To make matters worse, we import rice worth $90m (about sh162.9b) annually from Pakistan and the Pakistan businesspeople paid KACITA and market vendors to strike so that their market can be protected by reduction in the taxes.”
Kweronda Ruhemba said this at a debrifieng meeting about the recently-concluded World Trade Organisation ministerial conference in Hong Kong.
“Members of KACITA could have pocketed a lot of money. The day they were to close the shops, they were supposed to be paid the profits they had lost during the strike,” he said at the Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala.
However, KACITA’s spokesman Issa Ssekitto said the business community in Uganda has no contacts with Pakistan.
“Neither do we have an embassy here for Pakistan. It is the East African leaders who are biased towards this trade. In Zanzibar, rice is imported at 25%, in Uganda 75% while Kenya’s is 30%,” Ssekitto said.
“The strike was aimed at injustices in the trade due to smuggling because imported rice in Uganda had reduced due to smuggled rice through Zanzibar,” he said.
Ends

KACITA was bribed to strike, says Kweronda

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