Ugandan businesses that regularly use the Uganda-Rwanda border are crying foul over the increase in road user fees by the Rwanda Revenue Authority.
Rwanda tripled its three-month road user fees for Uganda-registered vehicles from 50,000 shillings to 150,000 shillings. Uganda charges only 75,000 shillings for Rwandan vehicles intending to enter Uganda for the same period of time.
Matta Ayebare, Manager of Jaguar Buses at the Katuna border, says the increase in road user fees was not announced and took them by surprise. He says businesses like his, that enter Rwanda on a daily basis, are placed at a great disadvantage because they are given small permit papers on which the customs entry stamps are made.
According to Ayebare, once the permit paper is filled up, businesses are expected to pay for a fresh permit. He says the Ugandan businesses do not know who to complain to or who to approach to arbitrate between them and the Rwandan authorities.
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Uganda's ambassador to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero, says he was not aware of the increase in road user fees. He says his only knowledge of the issue stems from a meeting he had recently with the Commissioner General of the Rwanda Revenue Authority who protested that Uganda was charging higher fees that Rwanda on buses entering the country.
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Kabonero pledges to investigate the irregularity to ensure that no unfair charges are levied against Ugandan businesses entering Rwanda.