The New Times (Kigali)

2 January 2010

Rwanda: Security Companies Plead for Tax Exemption

Kigali — Private security companies operating in Rwanda have pleaded to the Senate to scrap taxes charged on equipment the companies use in conducting their security maintenance business.

The plea was made to the Senatorial Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security in the ongoing evaluation of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

"They want taxes charged on their equipment to be lifted; I propose we back this idea," said the committee's vice-chair, Agnès Mukabaramba.

Senators were reluctant to endorse the idea, questioning why the companies want an exemption.

"We have to first know the state in which these companies operate, if they are profit oriented then they don't deserve to be exempted from paying taxes," Senator Antoine Mugesera said.

Other grievances tabled before the committee by the security companies include their need to use weapons in their business but the committee requested them to fulfill the requirements as indicated in the ministerial decree governing security companies.

Currently it's only Intersec Security that is equipped with guns.

The Senate also expressed its concerns of the low salaries paid to security guards by their companies. A guard is paid an average of between Rwf30,000 to 60,000.

Security companies operating in the country include KK Security, INTERSEC, GARSEC, TOPSECURITY International, EXCEL Security, FODEY Security, AGESPRO, ARMOR GROUP and BLUE HACKLE.

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