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Migereko averts city traders’ strike

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd August 2005 03:00 AM

THE Minister of Trade and Industry, Daudi Migereko and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials yesterday spent over an hour at Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) offices on Royal Complex in the city centre to avert a looming strike by the city traders.

THE Minister of Trade and Industry, Daudi Migereko and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials yesterday spent over an hour at Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) offices on Royal Complex in the city centre to avert a looming strike by the city traders.

By Peter Kaujju

THE Minister of Trade and Industry, Daudi Migereko and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials yesterday spent over an hour at Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) offices on Royal Complex in the city centre to avert a looming strike by the city traders.

The traders, who camped at the offices from 7:30am, said they would only meet the minister at the ministry headquarters because they wanted to hand him a document outlining their complaints against the high taxes on imported products and mistreatment by some URA officials.

Migereko later succumbed to the traders’ demands to meet him at the ministry offices, where many went in a procession at 10:00am.

KACITA’s spokesperson, Issa Ssekitto, said the Government had not fulfiled the promises it made in May after their earlier strike.

“We are extremely disappointed that some points agreed upon when we met the president in May have not been met. Issues like granting traders a three- month grace period to clear goods which were imported before the implementation of the Customs Union, establishment of a mechanism of joint verification by URA and addressing the issue of aliens involved in petty business,” Ssekitto said.

He said URA had increased taxes on imported goods in the last three weeks, which was likely to force them out of business.

“For instance, a 40ft container of sandals is sh60m from sh15m, a 40ft container of shirts is sh80m from sh20m while a 40ft container of trousers has increased to sh160m from sh35m,” Ssekitto said.

He said paying the new taxes would mean surrendering their working capital to URA.

“If nothing is done about the situation, we shall request all traders to stop forthwith from lodging tax entries to URA for a specified period, call off the importation of goods or advice traders to re-export until our complaints are addressed,” Ssekitto warned.

Migereko asked the traders to return to business, assuring them that he would consult other stakeholders to come with a solution to their grudges as soon as possible.

Migereko averts city traders’ strike

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