Kampala — Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has added to the woes of struggling regional supermarket giant Nakumatt by shutting the chain's main store at Oasis Mall in the heart of Kampala and two others, claiming unpaid taxes.
The closure effectively halted the retailer's operations in the country, as those were the remaining shops after the others closed earlier for various reasons, but mainly unpaid rent over the past two years.
Now, the URA is demanding at least Shs300m ($86,000), excluding accumulated interest for the past five years, officials say.
"We are trying to see if they can make a part payment and then agree on how they pay the balance through instalments. Once that happens then we can reopen the shops," said Patience Tumusiime Rubagumya, commissioner of legal services and board affairs at URA.
She said the law gives the tax body the power to take such action.
The Nakumatt management has reportedly approached URA asking for a settlement over the tax matter, but details of the negotiations were not available. The supermarket chain is facing pressure over its operations across the region.
The EastAfrican, a sister newspaper to Daily Monitor established that in just one month, more than 11 suits have been filed at the High Court demanding a combined Shs4.7 billion ($1.343m) owed to suppliers.
A separate set of creditors is demanding another over Shs500m ($143,000).