The collection of business and trade-related tax in Bundibugyo Town Council has been suspended for three weeks in response to a strike by local traders.
The traders went on strike last week to protest against the alleged harassment and extortion by AMAH General Enterprises, the company in charge of collecting taxes in Bundibugyo. They claimed the company was charging exorbitant fees for operational licenses, ground rent and market dues without explanation.
Ground rent for the smallest market stalls Bundibugyo was 40,000 shillings. Owners of the stalls had to part with an extra 21,000 shillings for an operating license and 2,000 shillings for the daily market dues.
According to the traders, anyone who defied the AMAH General Enterprises payment requirements would be harassed and forced into complying.
Over the weekend, traders from Bundibugyo Central Market and other major businesses in the town held a meeting with the Town Council chairperson, Robert Mpabasi, to resolve the matter.
After a story discussion, it was agreed that Ahmed Mwalimu, the AMAH representative in charge of collecting revenue would be relieved of his duty. He was accused of spearheading the ruthless revenue collection.
The meeting also resolved to suspend revenue collection for the next three weeks to allow the Town Council to resolve the matter at administrative level and to find an alternative tax collection mechanism.