Economy in distress: finance, trade ministries speak out 
Aware of the mounting economic pressures against traders and other Ugandans due to a struggling economy; the government has come out to advise Ugandans on how to live through hard economic times.The government’s advice is in response to the concerns of the traders under Kampala Capital City Traders’ Association (KACITA) over the state of economic affairs in the country.KACITA spokesperson, Isa Ssekitto told New Vision that many traders are at risk of losing their property over bad debts resulting from the poor performing state of the economy.The spokesperson of Ministry of Finance, Jim Mugunga explained that Ugandans are living in increasingly challenging economic times because of the shrinking of the global economy.“Uganda is not an economic island but a nation that thrives on the wellbeing of others in the region, the continent and world at large,” Mugunga said. “We depend primarily on trade in goods, services and repatriations by Ugandans abroad. If countries like South Sudan and Kenya buy less from us due to the decreased spending power among other factors, this is bound to impact us economically.” Read more
KACITA: Dfcu bank summons Crane Bank borrowers for talks
Former Crane Bank clients who secured loans before the bank collapsed have been asked go for discussions on how to repay their outstanding loans now under dfcu bank.In a statement to New Vision, Jude Kansiime, the head-brand, marketing and communication said the bank is proactively reaching out to all borrowers to come over.The statement was released after traders under Kampala Capital City Traders Association (KACITA) complained that they were being put under a lot of pressure to repay the loans which they secured from Crane Bank. Dfcu bank took over all the assets and liabilities of Crane Bank."We would encourage borrowers with non-performing loans to immediately come over to our credit department and renegotiate their loans if they can demonstrate ability to pay," Kansiime said.He added that the Bank was reviewing cases that were under foreclosure at the time of take over with a view of reaching an amicable settlement if the borrowers can demonstrate adequate cash flows to service their obligations.  Read more
KACITA: Traders want equal access as Kenya opens new terminal
The spokesperson of the Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita), Mr Issa Sekitto, has called for equal treatment and access to systems of clearance as Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) launched a new terminal at Mombasa port.“Equal accessibility to the tax system will help speed up the clearing process for goods. Uganda’s tax system ESCUDA is open to the Kenyans unlike the SIMBA, clearing system which is only accessible to Kenyans,” he said.“As long as the issues are not addressed, we shall only benefit from the increase in capacity at the port but will still face challenges trying to clear the goods,” Mr Sekitto said.“Anything that concerns the capacitation of the port is welcome although in our opinion as Kacita, a dry port at the side of Uganda would have been the best option because a lot of cargo is abandoned at the Mombasa port,” he said.Read more
KACITA: Uganda loses Shs3 billion daily in South Sudan conflict
Uganda is losing about $1 million (Shs3.3 billion) every day since war resumed in Juba, the South Sudan capital. According to the traders' leadership in Kampala, this figure is a very conservative estimate, considering that it does not factor in losses inflicted on life and properties.The situation in the world's newest country has been dangerous following renewed fighting in Juba, where the majority of Ugandan-owned businesses are concentrated. Speaking in an interview, the chairman Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita), Mr Everest Kayondo, said South Sudan, a key export market for Uganda, has been depriving its members and affiliate organisations an opportunity to transact business worth at least Shs3.3 billion a day. Read more
KACITA, KCCA on collision course over street vendors 
Traders under their umbrella body Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have given Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to evict vendors from the city streets or they take industrial action.“We have written to KCCA, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and the Inspector General of Police over the matter. If this week elapses without any action taken against street vendors, we shall summon the business community to make a resolution on what action should be taken” KACITA chairperson Everest Kayondo told New Vision in a telephone interview. Kayondo was not sure of the resolution that they will take but said that they are most likely to move their merchandise to the middle of the streets and block all the traffic.There had been order in the city but both the December festive season and the general elections period saw a surge in the number of street vendors transacting business in the city. Read more
KACITA advises on balance of trade
A consortium of traders, under their umbrella body, the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) has called upon government to put more emphasis on agro production and processing to improve the country’s balance of trade.“The dollar is now high because of speculation arising from the election period and our negligible export volumes. However, if we had enough to export as a country, we wouldn’t be affected this much. The high dollar is bad for our businesses,” said the KACITA chairman, Everest Kayondo during a trader’s business meeting in Kampala.Kayondo said that since Uganda’s comparative advantage is in agriculture, government should place more emphasis on the development of the sector, to raise exports and balance the country’s trade sheet.Agriculture contributes approximately 22.5% to the gross domestic product (GDP) and provides employment to more than 80% of the population, according to records from the National Bureau of Statistics. Read more
KACITA: Traders scoff at 3% electricity tariff cut
City traders and manufacturers have disagreed with the Electricity Regulatory Authority's (ERA) decision to cut power tariffs by 3 %. KACITA spokesperson Isa Ssekito said the cut cannot make any difference because owners of commercial buildings determine the tenants’ electricity bill which at times does not correspond with the overall UMEME bill. “Irregular cut offs are becoming a habit. We want consistence such that we can also be consistent in helping them. We also want them to be quick when there are disconnections and all of this is contained in our petition to them” Ssekito said. However the executive director of Uganda Manufacturers Association Ssebaggala Kigozi said though the 3 percent reduction is much less than the 19% increment that was made, it shall have a slight change on the cost of production. Read more
KACITA: Traders threaten to strike over URA directive
Kampala City Traders’ Association (Kacita) has called for a shutdown of businesses protesting a directive by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to imprison importers who undervalue or falsely declare imports.In a meeting held in Kampala, the traders protested the directive saying many times the said faults are a result of “mistakes” and that the tax body resorting to imprisonment of their members, will wash away the good relations between the tax payers and the collectors.“The traders are not against paying taxes but you cannot arrest someone for undervaluing as a first resort yet sometimes it is by mistake,” Mr Everisto Kayondo, the association chairperson, said in Kampala.He added: “We have called for a meeting with URA but in vain. So far, five members have been arrested and are out of prison.”The traders concerns come at a time when URA is struggling to meet revenue targets.Read more
KACITA to petition government over soaring rates
The Kampala City Traders Association resolved to petition government over the shilling’s continued volatility and the increase of interest rates on old loans.The weakening shilling, according to KACITA, has put pressure on the business community, especially when importing and paying rental expenses which has forced some of their colleagues to close shop. “Our quarrel is also with commercial banks for increasing the interest rates on loans that were taken long before the crisis. Because the loans are measured against our maximum ability to pay, any adjustment could kick us out of business,” said Everest Kayondo, KACITA chairman.During the meeting, the traders resolved to seek a meeting with the president, the BOU governor Emmanuel Mutebile and the Uganda Bankers’ Association to chat a way forward and look at policies which can help to stabilize the economy.The shilling continued to weaken against the dollar, shedding off 20% by end of business, and trading at approximately sh3,700 in exchange. Read more
KACITA warns traders on counterfeit goods
The Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) spokesperson Issa Sekitto has warned companies which adulterate products of other producers as a way of tarnishing brands on the market, urging owners put a reward to anyone who can reveal the masqueraders. Brand names of several companies have been spoilt by others whose intention is to ruin the market of their competitors. He made the remarks while assessing the performance of mineral Water producing companies in the city. Sekitto during his investigation at the Blue Water Beverages in Luzira called for the intervention of the ministry of trade and industries, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to ensure monitoring of these companies and other mushrooming unregistered companies. Read more
KACITA: Private sector upset over tax proposals
The new tax proposals are a recipe for disaster, private sector players have said. Speaking in an interview, the vice chairperson of Kampala City Traders Association, (Kacita), Ms Hope Katwine, said the tax proposals, if implemented, will increase the price of fuel which in turn will compel the traders to increase prices of goods and services, making it expensive for consumers to afford basic goods and services.She said: “We shall not sell because the prices will be too high to afford. There is no winner in all this.”In another interview with the Kacita chairman, Mr Everest Kayondo, it emerged the commuter taxi operators are already upset, calling for the proposals to be withdrawn, saying they are already paying too much in taxes and incurring so much in terms of maintenance costs just to keep afloat. Finance minister Matia Kasaija has proposed new taxes on beer, cigarettes and commuter taxis. Read more
KACITA: Rent in arcades overwhelms former Kisekka market vendors
Owners of shopping arcades in the vicinity of Kisekka Market have hiked rent fees as traders who previously operated in the market seek refuge there. Kisekka Market, which was dogged by wrangles over ownership, was demolished to pave way for redevelopment. The demolition, came at the heels of a court injunction secured by some of the traders to temporarily stop the demolition, until the pending case over ownership was resolved in court. The traders shifted to nearby buildings which include Namayuba, Nabukera Plaza, Rohana, Ravens and Samba Complex following demolition of the market. Other traders shifted to Kampala suburbs of Nalukolongo, Ndeeba and Katwe. A survey by New Vision around some of the arcades revealed that the traders were paying more rent fees compared to what was pertaining before. Read more
Kacita wants policy of foreign investment overhauled
The Kampala City Traders’ Association (Kacita) has urged the government to develop a policy that will compel foreign investors to share business ownership of 80 per cent for the foreign investors and 20 per cent for nationals. Kacita chairman Everest Kayondo said such a policy will make the Ugandan economy maintain its stability even when multinationals repatriate their profits. “I propose that investors own 80 per cent and the nationals at least own 20 per cent. The current ownership of up to 100 per cent is dangerous for the economy,” Mr Kayondo said.Mr Kayondo attributed the fluctuating shilling to multinationals buying dollars, a situation he said increases the cost of doing business for the local entrepreneurs as they have to use more shillings to buy dollars. Read more
MOTI:Local manufacturers advised on quality products
The Trade, Industry and Cooperatives minister Ms Amelia Kyambadde, has advised local suppliers and manufacturers to produce and maintain high quality goods in order to win both local and international contracts.Speaking at the recent Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita) Quality Awards gala, at the Uganda Manufacturers Association grounds in Lugogo, Ms Kyambadde said supplying high quality products will enable suppliers to earn good reputation from procuring entities and consumers.She said it is through production of quality goods with the recognised standard mark that locally manufactured goods can attract the regional and international market. This can as well help suppliers win international contracts that are more lucrative. Read more
KACITA: Ugandan traders move to cut back on Mombasa Port losses
In a bid to cut back on the losses incurred through demurrage and auctioning of cargo due to delays, Ugandan traders are organising an on-site assessment at the Mombasa Port.According to Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita) chairman Everest Kayondo, the traders will travel to Mombasa next week.“Our traders go through a lot of challenges while clearing goods at the port of Mombasa as a result of the new measures introduced. So we think this on-site assessment will give us a clear picture,” Mr Kayondo said.The new cargo clearing changes have left many Ugandan traders in distress because many still lack adequate information. Because of that, they have delayed to clear their goods thus accumulating demurrage, a charge paid as compensation for the delay of cargo, which has made the cost of doing business high.Read more
KACITA creates global partnership
THE Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) is set to extend its footprint to 51 countries across the globe, following a new partnership with the Fast Forwarders; a transportation company operating in 52 countries across the globe. While launching the partnership in Kampala recently, KACITA’s chairman Everest Kayondo said the partnership comes at a time when many Ugandans trading from Asia, Europe and North America are facing insurmountable challenges and need KACITA’s presence to expand beyond Uganda’s borders. “Our traders have got many problems and if we just sit here and don’t help, we shall be defeating KACITA’s objectives. Ugandans trading from America, Asia and Europe have for long asked us to open our doors there, but now this partnership will go a long way in addressing that,” he said. Under the agreement, the fast forwarder’s offices, in all the 51 countries from which it operates, will be accessed by KACITA traders for any help or business relating to KACITA, including soft loans offered at a 2% interest rate. Read more
KACITA Unveils 2014 Quality Awards
Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) has unveiled this year's Quality Awards preparations, an annual event that seeks to recognise businesses that have excelled in quality maintenance of goods and services. The process like last year, will involve a holistic study of all member business entities that will tassel for the prestigious award on July 11 2014 at Hotel Africana in Kampala.  KACITA vice chairperson, Ms Hope Atwiine, said yesterday, a research firm (Research Hub) will carry out the study to determine the best performers. "They will be going round visiting companies to determine whether quality management practices and controls are in place," she said. The winner, she added, will be largely determined on consumer preference grounds (40% of the mark). Other areas under consideration will include environmental sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, market outreach, distribution, NSSF and URA tax compliance. Read more
KACITA to open own bank
Kampala traders under their umbrella organization, the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) are looking forward to starting their own bank after commercial banks hiked interest rates last year to a level that pushed some of them out of business.Everest Kayondo, the chairman of the association told traders at their annual general meeting (AGM) on March 20, that the organization is finalizing plans to officially launch the bank any time soon.“We intend to open a commercial bank very soon that will cater for KACITA’S growing needs for investment as well as provide loans to traders at low interest rates in an effort to mitigate pressure from commercial banks that lend at exorbitant interest rates and push our colleagues out of business,” he said. Under the law, the KACITA traders will be required to raise the minimum capital requirement by the central bank of Sh25bn intended to ensure that banks are in a better position to safeguard depositors’ money in bad economic times before launching their venture in to the banking sector. Read more
Kacita Vows to Boycott Trading Licenses
Traders under their umbrella organisation Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have vowed not to continue paying any license fees to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) effective immediately. In a stakeholders meeting held in Kampala, Isa Ssekito, the KACITA spokesperson, declared that this has come as a result of KCCA and URA failing to sensitise the traders on the requirements for obtaining trading licenses. “Traders need more information about the procedures, benefits of the Tax Identification Number (TIN number) which was made a compulsory requirement for anybody to obtain a trading license in Kampala,” Ssekito explained. “We have decided as traders that there be no more paying of licenses to KCCA, URA until when they fulfill their earlier promise of sensitising the traders on which forms of taxes they have to pay. They should also explain why they charge inflated fees to all those traders who have registered for TIN numbers.” Read more