Mbirizi Town Clerk Blocks Collection of New License Fees

5406 Views Lwengo, Uganda

In short
Led by Bruce Tushabe Nzabanita, their chairperson, the vendors blocked a team of revenue collector from collecting the license fees saying it was illegal.

Janat Nabateregga, the Mbirizi Town Clerk has stopped the collection of new license fees from traders in Mbirizi central market following protests by vendors. Last week, vendors in Mbirizi central market staged a demonstration following a decision by Mbirizi town council to increase the license fees by 40 percent. Before the proposed increment, vendors were paying 50,000 shillings.  After the increment, the vendors were expected to pay between 80,000 and 180,000 shillings in trading license fees.

This didn’t go down well with the vendors.  The vendors took to the streets last week and stormed the offices of Yusuf Matovu, who was contracted to collect revenue on behalf of the town council from the Market. Led by Bruce Tushabe Nzabanita, their chairperson, the vendors blocked a team of revenue collector from collecting the license fees saying it was illegal. Tushabe explained that it was the unanimous decision of the vendors to resist the collection of the tax. He accused the town council of charging vendors a lot of money yet there was no service delivery.

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Janat Nabateregga, the Mbirizi Town Clerk says she has stopped the contractor from collecting the license fees. Nabateregga says the decision to stop the collection of the disputed fee was taken in a security meeting with the vendors last week. She also denied the involvement of the town council in the increment of the fees saying it was announced by Lwengo district council.

Nabateregga says although the decision is likely to affect the revenue collection in the town council, they discovered that majority of the vendors can’t afford the increment.
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Yusuf Matovu, the man in charge of revenue collection has still refused to comment on the matter. Another officer who refused to identify himself told Uganda Radio Network that they had not received any communication from the town council stopping the collection of the new license fees. Florence Namutebi, a vegetable says she has been paying 60,000 shillings annually for her stall but was shocked when the revenue collector demanded an extra 30,000 shillings.

Namutebi says with her stall which fetches a profit of 4000 shillings daily paying an extra 30,000 shillings doesn't make business sense. Leonia Nakanwaagi, a resident of Mbirizi wants the town council to rehabilitate the market and install culverts in the channels near the market. 



About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.