Vendors are to get a two month’s tax holiday in the newly built Kasese central market when it finally becomes operational. President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni commissioned the Shillings 16billion market during his campaign trail in December last year.
Despite this, the market is yet to open for business. The Kasese Deputy Town Clerk, Kairi Kambasu, says they expect vendors to occupy the market by the end of this month. He also says that they have finalized discussions with the Finance Ministry and vendor’s leaders on the operational guidelines.
He says that the municipality has decided to give the vendor’s a two month’s tax holiday since they have been struggling to get customers since they were relocated for the old market nine years ago to pave for redevelopment.
He also says that they are aware that most vendors have been struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic and may need some time to settle.
Kambasu however says not all vendors will return to the new market because of the need to comply with the physical distancing to contain the spread of coronavirus.
He also dismissed claims that some municipal officials are receiving bribes to help unregistered persons acquire lockups.
Magrette Karungi, one of the vendors is excited about the pronouncement, saying she has been struggling to get customers because of her poor location, which has grossly affected her income. She says that for now, she does not have enough money to rent a lockup in the market.
The municipal council has also proposed Shillings 150, 000 for a lock up and Shillings 40,000 for a stall. The municipality has been losing about Shillings 160 million annually in revenue since the vendors relocated to pave way for redevelopment of the market.
The old market used to host over 400 vendors.