KACITA worried about growing debt burden

By Daudi Zirimala

The Kampala City Traders Association, Kacita is concerned about the high debt burden Uganda is having saying this has affected their businesses and exchange rate Volatility.

According to KACITA Spokesperson Issa Ssekitto, the indebtedness of the country has forced commercial banks to increase borrowing terms for traders which later affect their businesses.

Ssekitto says the only way the government can reduce on the debt burden is by reducing on the administrative costs because this alone has consumed a lot of money borrowed from different banks.

Uganda’s public debt has been sporadically rising from only $1.9b in the 2008/09 financial year to over $11b currently.

Taking the rate at which Uganda is paying off its debt, it will take 94 years to repay the existing stock of debt. This is according to a report by the Parliament’s Committee on National Economy for the 2016/17 financial year.

The report puts the stock of external debt for both the public and private sector at 41.4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 40.2 per cent in the preceding financial year.

It warns that the risk of Uganda rolling over external debt is increasing, just like the cost of attracting debt as the government continues to source for external debt on less concessional terms.

Traders accused of assaulting KCCA officer granted bail

By Sania Babirye

City hall grade one magistrate Beatrice Kainza  granted a 200,000U shillings each  cash bail to  Nine traders from Usafi market  who are charged with assaulting KCCA law enforcement officers while on duty this month.

These were charged and remanded to Luzira prison on the 13th of this month after they pleaded not guilty to the offenses.
They have been ordered to return back to court on the 16th of May 2018 as investigations into the case continues.
Prosecution states that on the 13th of this month while at Usafi market the group led by 50year old Peter Simulema threw stones at  law enforcement officer while on duty.

Traders protest against Chinese who are doing petty businesses

By Robert Segawa
Business has come to a standstill as Traders operating in arcades around  Nakasero market closed their shops expressing dissatisfaction over the Chinese traders who came as  investors but now doing petty  businesses which Ugandans can take care of.
The angry traders  operating on Seroma arcade, Nalule Arcade, MM arcade among others deal  mainly in hardware materials  and   accuse Chinese investors for engaging in retail businesses and selling at low cost hence pushing them out of business.
Ugandan traders closed their shops in a peaceful demonstration with placards asking Chinese investors to go back to their country.
Police from Central Police Station has been heavily deployed around the place to prevent violence and   the DPC CPS,  Joseph Bakaleke asked traders to be calm and warned them to desist from forcing those with open shops to close

Masaka traders frustrated that poor infrastructure is retarding the growth of the municipality

Poor road infrastructure and unstable power supply are key factors frustrating the growth of investment in Masaka municipality, according to local investors. This is contained in a petition from the investors to the Greater Masaka Consortium, an association of local governments in the region.

Led by Dr. Fulgensio Jjuujo, the Chairperson Masaka Investor’s Association, the local businessmen say the poor road network and power outages are frustrating investment in Masaka. Masaka municipality been slow at attracting big investments since the 1979 war, which saw it bombed flat.

It also suffered some of the effects of the National Resistance Army liberation struggle. Despite this some business people have injected huge sums of money in key investments in the municipality.

Some of the notable investors are Sarah Kiyimba, the proprietor Hotel Brovad, Dr. Fulgesio Jjuko, the proprietor Garden Courts Hotel and Tropic Inn Hotel, Joseph Kiyimba of Ambiance Discotheque, Emmanuel Lwasa of Tervan Kicking Discotheque and Lwasa Gardens.

Dr. Fulgensio Jjuujo, the Chairperson Masaka Investor’s Association, says majority of the roads in Masaka town are in a very sorry state, which directly affects their investments. He says the poor roads scare away other would be investors.

The investors cite the road connecting Nyendo township to Masaka municipality, which they say hasn’t had any major rehabilitation for years. Nyendo road is under the management of Uganda National Roads Authority. Paul Muwanga, the proprietor of Nandis Hotel at Bwala Hill, says the municipality has failed to work on the road connecting Masaka town from Kidda.

He says the dust from the road is scary, which prompted him to devise of blocking it from entering his hotel. Emmanuel Lwasa, the proprietor of Lwasa Events which owns Tervan Kicking Discotheque and Lwasa Gardens in Kyabakuza also had to open his own access route to his investment. He is now counting on the Municipality to tarmac the road connecting to his businesses.

Matia Ssamula, the proprietor of Welding Center in Masaka town decries the persistent power outages, saying he has suffered several losses. According to Ssamula, Masaka municipality hasn’t had stable power since 2010. Ssamula says he has an order to weld windows, doors and gate but he isn’t sure whether he will deliver on time because of unreliable power supply.

He is worried that the first school term might start before he delivers on the orders, which isn’t good for his business. Godfrey Kayemba, the Masaka Mayor admits the poor road network. He however, says they expect to work on key roads by close of the year with funding from World Bank.

Kayemba says much as the municipality would love to open all roads, they don’t have money to work on them. Patra Kyarisiima, the Masaka Umeme Area Manager declined to comment on the unstable power supply.