EXCLUSIVE: Museveni Refuses To Meet KACITA Leaders


order geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>The presidential Press Secretary, Tamale Mirundi, said Friday that Museveni directed Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) leaders to liaise with Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde to resolve their grievances.

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“They came here at State House and sat for hours. The President said ‘no I can’t meet them.’ I can tell you, Museveni cannot dance to the tune of these people,” charged Mirundi.

The fire-spitting publicist made the remarks while appearing on Good Morning Uganda, a talk show on UBC television.

“If KACITA has issues with taxes, there are institutions of government. The President said if everyone including himself were to strike, what would happen?” said Mirundi.

Museveni has in the past hosted KACITA to sort out traders concerns.

His decision not to meet them underscores government’s determination to get rid of substandard goods flooding the market.

The traders on Tuesday closed their shops in protest against a new government programme requiring pre-shipment inspection of imported goods in the countries of origin before they enter into the Ugandan market.

They claim the system which comes with new taxes is “exploitative.”

But Kyambadde says the rules are intended to stop counterfeit products from flooding the Ugandan market.

During a meeting held recently at Diamond Hotel in Kampala, the traders chairman Everest Kayondo said they would keep locks on their shops till next week pending negotiations with Kyambadde and other stakeholders.

Kyambadde later tabled before Parliament several counterfeit products imported into the country by unscrupulous traders.

The items included electronics, a vacuum flask, sanitary pads and Cerelac. She said government is committed to ensuring that quality products are imported into the Ugandan market and traders must comply.

Legislators also hinted on strengthening the capacity of Uganda National Bureau of Standards.

The traders say they will not open shops until next week on Monday. Businesses especially in downtown Kampala remain closed.

Mirundi further accused former FDC President Dr Kizza Besigye of being in a “control room of malicious and opportunistic organizations like KACITA which want to inflict pain.”

He further referred to Besigye and KACITA as “scavengers” who take advantage over everything “especially at this time when US President Obama is visiting Africa to attract publicity.”

“These people are just scavengers not Ugandans by heart. What will you do if Ssekito (KACITA official) and Besigye decide that traders don’t work for a whole year? They are malicious people,” he added.

He also challenged KACITA to address traders’ grievances such as high rent fees imposed on them by landlords.

“The tenants even pay rent in dollars. Why do they do that? Dollars? How come KACITA has not come out to protest such mistreatment? They are just corrupt. Just scavengers,” charged Mirundi, well known for speaking his mind.


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