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Kabale Tax Collector Accused of Operating an Illegal Market

The traders explained that at first they thought Kabale Municipal Council would fault them for operating in a place not gazetted by authorities as a market until Justus Tinyinondi, the contractor in charge of markets started charging them 1,000 shillings every Monday and Friday when they converged along Bwankosya street for business.
Some of the Traders Whose Merchandise was Confiscated

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Justus Tinyinondi, a Tax Collector in Kabale Municipality is on the Spot for allegedly authorizing an illegal market with the intention of illegally collecting levies from disgruntled traders whose businesses were affected by the ban on weekly markets.

A section of Vendors dealing in clothes from Mwanjari weekly market in Southern Division in Kabale Municipality shifted venue to Central Division along Bwankosya Street near the Kabale Municipal Stadium, after President Yoweri Museveni maintained the ban on all weekly markets in 10 districts including Kabale, with high COVID-19 prevalence rates. 

The traders explained that at first they thought Kabale Municipal Council would fault them for operating in a place not gazetted by authorities as a market until Justus Tinyinondi, the contractor in charge of markets started charging them 1,000 shillings every Monday and Friday when they converged along Bwankosya street for business.

Trouble started yesterday Monday afternoon when the Kabale Municipality Law Enforcement Officers led by Naris Byebirooha stormed the area and confiscated the trade items accusing the owners of operating in a place not gazetted as a market place. 

The Vendors said they were shocked because they had been paying taxes to an official contracted by the Municipal Council which according to them, was an indication that they had been permitted to carry out trade activities in the area.

Rosette Kushemererwa a widow and mother of four, said  that confiscation of the trade items by  law enforcement officers was an act of betrayal and total disregard of the suffering of the traders whose livelihood had been severed by the ban on weekly markets. 

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Jalia Kyomugisha and Justine Owomugisha asked the Kabale Municipal Authorities to explain why the Tax collector had been charging them before allowing trade activities to take place yet he was aware that the place was ungazeeted. The duo also asked the Kabale District RDC to re-open Mwanjari Market or provide an alternative to the affected traders.

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The LC3 Chairperson Central Division Sam Arinaitwe said Tinyinondi, the Tax Collector would be  be investigated for breeching the terms of his contract because he was only supposed to collect taxes from places gazetted as markets. He did not say why the the local government had been receiving the tax collected from the illegal market. 

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//Cue in: “Number one we have gazetted, …  

Cue out:…  then he’s breeching the contract.”//

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Cue out:…  nekintu ekitwine kujumirira.”// 

 

Arinaitwe exonerated the law enforcement officers arguing that they were performing their duty to stop trade in an ungazetted market place. He however, concurred with the affected traders that government should revisit the COVID-19 statistics and consider lifting the  ban on weekly markets in Kabale District.

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Cue out:…  guidance of the health experts.”//

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Cue out:…  COVID konka bakeitwa enjara.”//

When contacted, Mr. Tinyinondi admitted that he had been collecting taxes from the vendors, but denied the responsibility of authorizing them to operate along Bwankosya road. 

Meanwhile, the vendors cast doubt on the reasons given by Government for continued closure of the weekly markets.  

One of them, Catherine Ahumuza said that she wondered why Kabale Weekly Markets were closed yet the traders who used to operate from the same markets are allowed to cross to Rukiga and Rubanda  to participate in weekly markets in the two Districts. 

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//Cue in: “Nyine abaana bataano konka, … 

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Allen Nimusiima said she could not understand why government had allowed mass gatherings in places of worship, buses and the bigger markets in Kampala City, while weekly markets were still restricted. 

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//Cue in: “The Council people came here, …

 

Cue out:…  to work fr our families.”// 

By the time President Museveni declared Kabale as one of the Districts with high prevalence rates of COVID-19 infections, Kabale Regional Referral Hospital was closely second to Mbale and Soroti Hospitals in Covid-19 admissions. 

According to statistics from office of the District Health Officer, by 17th October 2021, Kabale had 120 active cases with 35 hospital admissions while 85 were under Home based care treatment. The district has cumulatively registered 2,238 cases and 95 of them have succumbed to the virus since July 2020.  

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