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    City Arcade owners meet to agree on what to present to President Museveni tomorrow

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    City Arcade owners meet to agree on what to present to President Museveni tomorrow
    • May 6, 2024 • 17 days ago
    in summary
    Arcade owners, represented by the Kampala Arcaders Association are convening to align their concerns with those of the traders, ahead of their meeting with President Museveni. The traders, who went on strike last month, protested against several issues including the implementation of the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (Efris) and high taxes on imported garments.

    Arcade owners under the Kampala Arcaders’ Association are convening today to discuss and agree on the issues to be presented to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni tomorrow.

    The association's chairperson, Mr. Godfrey Katongole, stated that today’s meeting aims to align their concerns with those previously outlined by the traders.

    “We are meeting today to align our concerns with those agreed upon earlier by our colleagues who are also our tenants - the traders. Whatever affects them affects the very core of our business,” he said.

    This meeting is just hours before the highly anticipated session with President Museveni, scheduled to be held at Kololo Independence Grounds, aimed at addressing the traders’ grievances that led to their strike last month.

    This meeting follows a previous one where President Museveni met with government officials from several ministries and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

    Last month, traders went on strike protesting a range of issues, including the implementation of the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (Efris), as well as its enforcement and penalties for defaulters.

    The traders also expressed concerns over high taxes on imported garments, bank agency notices issued by URA on traders’ accounts, and corruption among tax enforcement personnel.

    Meanwhile, there are renewed calls for the government to respect the trading community in the country. Thaddeus Musoke, chairperson of the Kampala City Traders Association, in a phone interview, stated that they are prepared to lead a delegation of their members from across the country to tomorrow’s meeting with the president.

    “We appeal to the government to start respecting and honoring the trading community because they play a vital role, whether it be in agriculture, education, or any other sector,” Mr. Musoke said

    The genesis of the dispute between traders and a tax system designed to recover value-added tax (VAT) from their trading activities has been impeding Uganda’s efforts to meet its ambitious revenue targets.

    Traders, particularly those in Kikuubo, had been on strike for the better part of the past month closing their doors primarily to wholesale customers. They claimed this was a protest against the taxman’s attempt to impose the electronic fiscal receipting and invoicing solution (EFRIS), which recovers value-added tax, calling it “daunting” in a period of slow business activity.

    What remained clear are the demands of the traders that included Manufacturing firms selling products at wholesale and retail prices in business centers are causing unfair competition, High-interest rates have made doing business costly, High import duties on clothing and other related cargo, Inflationary pressures have made most household items expensive for the general public to purchase.

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