Mukono municipality leaders and the municipal town clerk Richard Monday have disagreed on the collection of dues from street vendors.
Roadside vendors dealing in tomatoes, fruits and maize roasting pay between shillings 500 to 1,000 while others selling foodstuffs and clothes pay between shillings 1,000 to 4,000 shillings every day.
Monday notes that payment of the dues contradicts the presidential directives on market management and collection of fees.
“You, therefore, directed to immediately stop any collection fees from street vendors until we forge a way forward on how we can manage the situation considering the fact that vendors generate a lot of garbage from their operations,” Monday notes in the directive.
In 2017, Museveni wrote to the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda directing that government agencies shouldn’t overtax informal sector players such as market and roadside vendors. He directed that such people should pay annual license fees as opposed to the daily dues. Museveni also suggested that taxi operators should also pay tax once a year.
The municipal mayor George Fred Kagimu says the directive is misleading since the money collected by divisions is used in ensuring proper sanitation at vendor’s working places.
“The biggest challenge we have in the municipality is garbage collection, now that street vendors can’t pay the little charges levied from them, we cannot guarantee their existence in road reserves and before faces of shops scattering garbage,” Kagimu notes.
Jamiiru Kakembo, the Central Division Chairperson blames the town clerk for passing the directive without consulting division authorities.
He notes that charges were approved by the division council to supplement budget for garbage collection, therefore, reasoning that the directive needs to be implemented after some engagements.
Elisa Mukasa Nkoyoyo the Ggoma Division Chairperson is also left wondering of what is going to happen next saying vendors are always reluctant in cleaning places where they operate from adding that this is putting their existence on streets at risk of evacuating them.
Jamirah Namutaawe who roasts cassava, maize and sweet plantains (gonja) says tax collectors have always been on their backs to pay charges regardless of what they earn from their small businesses.
“We get less out of the businesses we do here, but it is sometimes taken by collectors who don’t want to care about our constraints,” Namutaawe notes.