Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
21.7 C
Kampala
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank

Businesses in Kampala at standstill as trader’s protest over EFRIS

Must read

Traders in Kampala under their associations, Federation of Uganda Traders Associations (FUTA) and Kampala Capital City Traders Association (KACITA), say they will not reopen their businesses for five days until URA reverses the use of EFRIS and President Museveni meets their leaders.

Today morning, shops in downtown Kampala were closed, with police and the military seen patrolling the area. Kikuubo Business Operating Area was also closed but security officers ordered that it reopened.

The same situation has been reported in Jinja Luweero and Masaka City where shops remained closed.

Some of the traders could be seen seated outside their closed shops. Some attempted to burn tyres in the protest but security quickly put out the fire and arrested others.

Kampala Central Mayor Salim Uhuru voiced his support for the traders protesting the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solutions (EFRIS) system by URA. He said despite his affiliation with the ruling party, he acknowledges the tax system’s negative impact on the business community.

Commotion erupted at Arua Park, Kampala, after a police patrol car (UP 00005) allegedly knocked a boda rider only identified as Onviti, while he was seated on his motorcycle. Onviti was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Traders, angered by the incident, attempted to confront the police driver, who fled to the Nile Coach Police Post within Arua Park for safety.

Issa Ssekito, Spokesperson of KACITA, said EFRIS is a victim of circumstance and that the government has been ignoring their other concerns.

“There have been issues that have not been solved and EFRIS is just a switch to the light on those issues. We have been talking about how garments are being taxed in kilograms. We also raised the issue of the Chinese who are the manufacturers but bring goods to town and also set up shops that compete with the traders,” he said.

“If EFRIS had been implemented by the guidelines that were given to us, this EFRIS wouldn’t have been bringing problems like it is,” he added.

Ssekito also revealed that the traders were meeting the Minister of Finance over the matter.

“Seems we have been meeting juniors. We can meet with the President after to inform him about what we have been discussing,” he added.

Pamela Natamba, the Partner and Head of Tax, PwC Uganda, said: “People have not understood EFRIS and that’s a challenge. If the sensitization through TVs has not worked, let’s try another method but more sensitization is needed. EFRIS is the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot that has been going on. Traders need to understand tax and know that EFRIS is just a mechanism. Do they understand that?”

But Twaha Kayondo, the Domestic Tax Officer at URA, said: “On the side of URA, we are willing to have a dialogue and we always dialogue with the traders but some issues can’t be solved by us rather the line ministry, Ministry of Trade.”

URA has continued to enforce EFRIS, saying it has led to an increase in tax collection in the central business district by 500 percent and has also reduced incidents of underreporting sales by many traders. Kacita has planned their strike to start next Thursday.

However, Speaker Anitah Among has called for dialogue to resolve the current stand-off between city traders and government over the implementation of EFRIS.

- Advertisement -

More articles

1 COMMENT

- Advertisement -

Latest article

- Advertisement -