Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) leaders have disagreed on provisions of a new bill seeking to regulate licence fees for street vendors and hawkers.
Mr Henry Bukenya, the manager of the technical team at KCCA, on Tuesday said the licence fees under the KCCA (regulation of street trade) Ordinance Bill 2019, will be charged in grades of one and two.
Grade one is for traders with big business stocks while grade two is for traders with small enterprises.
"A street hawker and vendor in grade one is to pay Shs112,500 and Shs210,000, respectively while a hawker and vendor in grade will pay Shs60,000 and Shs78,750 respectively," he explained while presenting the draft bill to the traders.
Mr Bukenya added that the money will be paid annually contrary to the daily charges that the traders have been paying.
However, some traders contend that the fees are too high compared to their income and capital.
"That money is too much, Lord Mayor. We beg that the fee for grade one be reduced to Shs60,000 and grade two be put at Shs40,000 because we are poor people," Mr Ismail Mubiru, the chairman of Ffubatukole Hawkers and Vendors Association, said.
Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago seconded the hawkers proposal saying the fees that the KCCA technical team drafted are exorbitant and they will be reduced under the Bill.
"However, we thank them for the draft. We are going to sit down and revise this money to a substantial reduction," Mr Lukwago said.
The Kampala Central Division deputy mayor, Mr Sam Gombya, advised that the fees remain because the money is meant to benefit street vendors.
"I advise that we embrace this money because it is a small fee which is being paid annually compared to the daily charges you have been incurring that amount to millions of shillings by the end of year. Lord Mayor, I beg that we desist from forming a feeble law that will not sustain us. The law has come as a good thing and we should be in position to accept the necessary terms for our good," he submitted.
Appeal to leaders
The Resident City Commissioner, Ms Faridah Mpima Mayanja appealed to leaders the not to reduce the licence fees.
"This money that has been stipulated is to assist you in the long run with construction of toilets, roads and KCCA needs maintenance as well because workers have to be paid. If a person is paying Shs112,500 yearly, it is an estimate of Shs300 per day which is not too much," Ms Mayanja said.
She added: "If this money is very little, the city will be in chaos and that is what we are trying to regulate. People [traders] will come all the way from Dokolo, Gulu and various areas to flood Kampala. So this amount is going to help with that [regulation]," she added.
Mr Lukwago, however, promised to reduce the fees to Shs60,000 for grade one and Shs40,000 for grade two vendors and hawkers, respectively.
A KCCA leader who preferred anonymity faulted the Lord Mayor for defending the reduction of licence fees.
"I think the Lord Mayor just wants votes since elections are around the corner. Otherwise, if he endorses reduction of fees, the city will be chaotic. This law has to be enforced with the necessary terms even when the traders find it a little inconveniencing. A good law will only help them if the amount is a bit high. Only and only then will the regulation work," the leader said.