More than 200 banana vendors led a peaceful procession from Kateete trading center on Wednesday morning to the boundary of Kakooba division to express their dissatisfaction with the tax hike.
Matooke vendors in Mbarara Municipality are protesting the increasing the 100 percent increase in dues without any prior notification by the council. More than 200 banana vendors led a peaceful procession from Kateete trading center on Wednesday morning to the boundary of Kakooba division to express their dissatisfaction with the tax hike. Business grounded to halt for about 5 hours as the vendors walked through the town.
Steven Kamusiime, the secretary general bicycle Matooke vendors association says that they were forced to pack their bicycles to express their dissatisfaction with the exorbitant taxes. He says that most of the vendors ride their over 12 kilometers to ferry the matooke from Masha, Kishiro, Kitooma and Kaberebere town council all in Isingiro district to Mbarara municipality on a daily basis. He says that they have decided not to bring bananas to Mbarara town until, the municipality revises the dues.
Kamusiime says that they have been paying shillings 200 for each bunch of banana, but they were shocked when they were forced to pay shillings 400. He says they will not pay the money unless the municipality justifies its action.
//Cue in: “The concern of this cause today…..//
Cue out…four thousand is that quality? //
Eriya Mugisha, another Matooke vendor from Kaberebere town council says his business is becoming costly because of the heavy taxation by the authorities. Mugisha says Isingiro district charges only shs.200 from a bunch of Matooke but wonders why Mbarara opted to increase the fees to shs.400 and yet they only get a profit of 1000 shillings from each bunch.
Ali Bogere, who won the tender to collect dues from vendors, says the resolution to increase the dues was passed last month by Kakoba and Nyamitanga Division councils. He says that the decision didn’t only affect the banana vendors, but all people who bring merchandise into Mbarara town market.
Under the new rates, a bunch of Bogoya will be charged shs.1000 from shs.300, a pickup of charcoal increased from shs.5000 to 14.000 per trip and a pickup of pineapples from shs.4.000 to 10.000 shillings among other commodities. Innocent Ahimbisibwe, the assistant senior principal town clerk Kakoba division says the decision to increase taxes is aimed covering the high costs of offering services such as garbage collection.
200 bicycle matooke vendors protest new taxes levied by council
kakoba division and nyamitanga division have increased taxes levied matooke and other products coming to town