By Fred Mwebembezi
In Fort Portal—
The Town Clerk and the mayor Fort Portal Tourism CityEdson Asaba Adyeeri are in hot soup for allegedly hiking the trading licenses to fail traders when the country is experiencing COVID pandemic effects.
The duo has been summoned in Kampala to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on trade, industry and cooperatives to explain the motives of doubling the trade licenses that are failing businesses to operate.
The Parliamentary committee on trade, industry and cooperatives headed by Mwine Mpaka the MP Mbarara city, who has been traversing the country to assess the impact of COVID on businesses, was shocked to find the town clerk and mayor Fort Portal had increased taxes by 200% yet the traders have been feeling the pinch of COVID lockdown.
Mpaka said following the abnormal levied taxes the clerk and the mayor have been summoned to Kampala to explain how they reached that percent of 200% when the people are not operating normally.
Sabiiti Stephen, a trader of Mpanga market told the committee that they had written to the town clerk seeking for rent and tax holiday when the country was in lockdown but instead they increased license fees from 80,000/= to 190,000/=
The traders added that the Land lords have continued to demand for rent arrears yet shops have been closed.
Fort Portal Deputy City Clerk Rusoke John Bosco in his defense said that as local governments they have been equally affected by the pandemic, local revenues have dwindled and the only alternative is to increase taxes.
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