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Buvuma District Adopts New Charging Policy to Increase Local Revenue

The Assistant Chief Administrative Officer-ACAO Ismael Kabonge told Uganda Radio Network that since the creation of Buvuma district in July 1 2010 it has been failing to collect the estimated local revenue and making recoveries of unrealized amounts due to gaps in the legal framework.
Alex Mabirizi the Buvuma District Chairperson.


The district local government of Buvuma has adopted a new charging policy to help improve on its local revenue base.  

After various deliberations and council sessions, the policy was approved by the solicitor general to rise revenue by fees and licenses on specified businesses and activities. 

The policy mainly targets landing sites as the major source of revenue, markets and building plans.  

Buvuma district thrives on fishing and farming as the major economic activities. However, the district has been finding it difficult to enforce the process of revenue collection.

In the new charging policy, the district prevents residents from using the lake for any fishing activity before paying the user fee and issued a receipt, license or operation permit.   

“Landing site user fees shall be charged on persons, fishing vessels or transport vessels using landing sites or accessing the fisheries resources within Buvuma District,” the policy reads in part. 

It also indicates that the payments to any given business shall be the responsibility of a person carrying out a specified business in the market landing site or any place.

Fish movement permits shall be charged in accordance with the fish act cap 197, smoking kilns to be charged shillings 30,000 per year, fishing boats 50, 000 and passenger boats shall be charged between 20,000 to 60,000. 

The policy stops erection of buildings structures without an approved plan which shall be in the physical planning act of 2010. It also provides guidelines for seasonal, daily market, bulk deliveries and other businesses including factories, bars, petrol stations, shops, quarries, and financial institutions.  

The Assistant Chief Administrative Officer-ACAO Ismael Kabonge told Uganda Radio Network that since the creation of Buvuma district in July 1 2010 it has been failing to collect the estimated local revenue and making recoveries of unrealized amounts due to gaps in the legal framework.  

 “On several occasions we have been failing to raise the budgeted amounts especially from our major source of local revenue which is the lake user fees. Buvuma has been lacking a policy to use in determining and demanding the unpaid revenue” Kabonge notes. 

In the financial year 2018/19, the district and its lower local governments budgeted to raise Shillings 200 million as revenue from the lake user fees but only realized Shillings 49, 488, 000 though they since then failed to recover the balance. 

Alex Mabirizi the District Chairperson explains that this will guide in setting up a well planned community. 

“Once we succeed in implementing this new tax ordinance the district shall be able to the underdevelopment so as to improve the standards of schools, community healthcare and the district infrastructure.” Mabirizi says explaining that they have now embarked on sensitizing lower local leaders and the community about the policy. 

James Kamanzi, a boat owner at Kirongo landing site says that they have always requested for the charging policy after the enforcement officers charging them differently revealing that at times they could be charged heavily than others depending on the relationship with the officers. 

The adopted charging policy recommends that once one feels aggrieved appeals to the Chief Administrative Office within fourteen days. In case of offending the policy one is liable is imprisoned to a period not exceeding six months, paying a fine of not exceeding two currency points which is equivalent to twenty thousand shillings or serve both penalties.                      

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