On Tuesday, more than 100 butchers took to the streets to protest the new slaughter fees saying they are already paying a lot of money in taxes.
Juliet Nakawuka, the town clerk of Mityana town council has suspended the new slaughter fees following protests by butchers on Tuesday. Recently, Mityana town council proposed to increase the slaughter fees from 3000 to 5000 shillings on each cow. On Tuesday, more than 100 butchers took to the streets to protest the new slaughter fees saying they are already paying a lot of money in taxes.
They also refused to slaughter any animals leaving meat consumers stranded as they could not find beef in the town council. Godfrey Nsubuga, the chairperson of Mityana Butchers’ Association said that they were not consulted before the council took a decision to increase the slaughter fees from 3000 to 5000 shillings. He said that they were shocked when they received a communication from the town clerk the new slaughter fees is effective August 2012.
Musa Kakooza, a butcher at Bbuye abbatoir says that in addition to paying the slaughter fees, they also pay for the animal movement permit, kraal fees, transport and Uganda Muslim Supreme Council slaughter charge. He says that once the town council enforces the new slaughter fees it is likely to push them out of business. Swaleh Matovu, another butcher says that they feel cheated because the town clerk didn’t indicate how the money will be used to improve the dilapidated abattoir, adding that they will not pay the new slaughter fees.
He also says that butchers have resolved not to slaughter any animal until the town council rescinds its decision to hike the slaughter fees. Following the demonstration by the butchers, Juliet Nakawuka, the town clerk Mityana council and her assistant Gonzaga Ssebulime convened a meeting with the butchers at Bbuye abattoirs to persuade them to resume work in vain. The butchers told the officials that they would only accept to resume work once the proposal is rescinded.
Gonzaga Ssebulime, the assistant town clerk later announced that they had resolved to reduce the money to shillings 4000 from shillings 5000. He appealed to the butchers to abide by the new slaughter fees saying that they needed the money to meet the cost of maintain the abattoir. But Moses Kapalaga, the secretary Mityana Butchers’ Association says that they are considering vacating the town council abattoir unless the slaughter fees is left at shillings 3000.