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    Traders agree to reopen businesses after meeting with President Museveni

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    Traders agree to reopen businesses after meeting with President Museveni
    • April 20, 2024 • 1 month ago
    in summary
    Following a meeting with President Museveni, traders protesting Uganda Revenue Authority's Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) system have agreed to reopen their businesses. President Museveni directed URA to suspend all penalties temporarily to allow for wider consultations.

    Traders protesting the unfair Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) system by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) have accepted to reopen their businesses after a Friday night meeting with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni over the matter.

    According to a statement released by State House on Friday night, the decision followed a directive by the president to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), suspending all penalties temporarily to allow for wider consultations. During the meeting, a delegation of 61 trader leaders, led by Mr. Kabanda John, the leader of the Federation of Uganda’s Traders Associations (FUTA), and Dr. Musoke Thadeus Agenda, the leader of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), engaged in discussions primarily centered on the taxation levied on their businesses, particularly the EFRIS system.

    “The discussions mainly centered on the taxation levied on their businesses, especially the EFRIS system. The leaders of the traders agreed to reopen their businesses as they continue to consult further with the government,” the statement read.

    President Kaguta Museveni, in a statement on his social media accounts, confirmed the development, stating that the meeting addressed issues such as the tax levied on textiles, calculated based on kilograms, which the traders argue is too high. Additionally, concerns were raised about manufacturers engaging in wholesale and retail, leaving no room for traders to conduct business, resulting in unfair trade practices.

    “I listened to their issues which also included the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) which they claim is not suitable for most of them and when they don't use it they are penalized. The threshold for Value Added Tax (VAT), which is currently an annual turnover of Shs 150 million that they say should be increased,” President Museveni stated.

    However, President Museveni urged traders to consider whether they want to contribute to building Uganda's economy or support other countries by trading in goods produced elsewhere.

    “Must we continue to cause a hemorrhage of the little that we have made through agriculture and other sectors by sending our money outside? Uganda should not be a supermarket for other countries,” he added.

    President Museveni announced that another meeting would be held on May 7 at Kololo Independence Grounds to further discuss these issues. Meanwhile, traders will reopen their businesses as Museveni consults with technocrats on the matter.

    The traders' decision to reopen their businesses follows protests since Tuesday over the implementation of the EFRIS system by URA.

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