District authorities threaten to impound BAT trucks over shillings 150 million accumulated haulage fees.
District officials in West Nile are threatening to impound trucks belonging to the British American Tobacco company over accumulated haulage fees. They demand over shillings 150 million that has accumulated over the last three years. They are Arua, Maracha, Koboko and Yumbe districts.
Charles Waga, the vice chairperson Maracha district says that BAT has not paid the haulage fees since their area was granted autonomy. He accuses BAT officials of bringing contracting arguments such as formulation of ordinances and paying uniform fees which is not commensurate to the destruction of each district.
He was supported by Jane Alejo, the Yumbe district production and marketing secretary, who says they have resolved to impound BAT trucks carrying tobacco to compel the company to pay shillings 63 million. She says that they had every effort to have BAT the money in vain.
Alejo accuses BAT officials based in West Nile of sabotaging development and environmental recovery in the tobacco growing districts yet, the company has contributed alot to environmental degradation and deforestration.
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Arua district authorities have threatened to drag the company to court or launch a massive campaign to discourage farmers from selling their tobacco to BAT. Boniface Alioni, the district secretary for production and marketing says Arua alone demands more than 100 million shillings from BAT. He says they have resolved to engage their lawyers their lawyers to follow up the matter and if negotiations fail they have been instructed to open a civil suit against the company.
Solomon Muyita, the BAT Uganda head of regulatory and corporate affairs has confirmed the none payment of haulage fees over the past three years. He however, attributes the problems on the districts which insist on levying different fees, saying this will be questioned by their auditors. Solomon says that is why BAT is demanding that each district passes bye laws to coverage the haulage fees payeable to each district annually.
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Previously, the district would issue demand notes to the company, that would be honored immediatly.
districts wants accuse bat of failing to pay them