By Wetondo Denis Julius
Traders in Mbale City are counting losses after the City Council started closing business premises for failure to pay ground and property rent of this financial year of 2019/21.
The operation which started on Monday, 30th November has so far seen over 200 business premises padlocked.
According to James Kutosi, the Public Relations Officer, Mbale city, the Monday’s operation was carried out in Northern City Division along with Republic and Palisa roads.
“The delayed taxes has created difficulties on our side in giving services to the public by for instance paying casual workers, collecting rubbish, repairing roads, installing security lights among others,” Kutosi said.
He revealed further that the excise is ongoing and will continue through the whole city until they recover over three billion shillings they had expected to get in-ground and property rent for this finical year.
He said the City had so far collected only 40% so far.
The public relations officer also urged the public to be compliant by remitting taxes in time such that services can be delivered to people in time.
Ronald Kimanayi, one of the affected business persons operating along Palisa road accused landlords for failing to pay the tax in the time since it’s their obligation yet they pay rent money on time.
Silaji Muduku one of the landlords at Palisa road in Mbale city also attributed the delay in clearing of taxes to none payment of rent money by tenants in time.
He added that most of his tenants have gone to three and above months without paying rent claiming that they have been hit with financial crises and receive few customers on daily basis due to the outbreak of the covid19 pandemic.
Muduku urged the government to bail them out like those of Kampala since the covid19 pandemic has paralyzed the income of both people and traders.