Lira Market Vendors Boycott Tax, Utilities Disconnected

7436 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
Water and electricity supply to the newly constructed Lira Main market has been cut off for non-payment. This as traders boycott to pay both rent and daily dues to the Municipal Council.

Traders using the new Lira market have refused to pay taxes to the Municipal Council, citing lack of business.

 
The traders have boycotted paying for utilities as well as rent, in which the Lira Municipal Council had projected to collect 27 million per month.

 
Lira Deputy Town Clerk, Emmanuel Oyuku Ocen says they have not collected any money from the market.


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Oyuku says that if the vendors do not pay taxes, the council will not be able to provide basic utilities, and may be run down.


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Oyuku says electricity was disconnected about a month ago over unpaid bills of 29 million shillings.


Caroline Adongo, a food vendor says her business has been crippled due to lack of water and power in the market.


Adongo claims she is forced to open her business late and close by 4:30pm due to lack of power to operate in the evening.


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Daniel Ogwal sells second hand shoes in the new market. He says since he shifted to the new market, his business is declining.


Ogwal is now contemplating shifting his business to another location.


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William Apea, the chairperson Lira Main Market Vendors Association says a number of traders have started shifting their businesses to a better location.

Apea says the security at the market is also wanting, since there is no one to guard their property at night.
 
The new market was built to accommodate about 2,200 vendors, but is currently occupied by less 600 vendors.


According to the Deputy Town Clerk, their decision to remove all vendors still operating from the satellite markets and road sides were crippled by what he described as political interference.

 
Currently, Lira Main Market is operating without electricity and water facilities, because the bills have never been paid since July when it was opened.

 
The council had initially projected to collect 27 million shillings per month from daily market dues, and at least 12 million shillings per month from the rent collection from vendors.

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.