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Trouble As Kenyan Salt Smuggled Into Uganda Leaves Traders, URA Counting Loses…

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Kenya based Krystalline Salt Ltd; producers of Kay Salt, and also one of the largest salt producers in East Africa are currently under fire on allegations of smuggling salt into Uganda.

Reports indicate that the giant salt producer has minted billions of Uganda shillings from the illegal trade. Stores in Kampala are filled to capacity with non taxed Kenyan salt branded with a ‘For sale in Kenya only’ tag, a clear implication that the product is only smuggled to the country it’s not taxed.

Krystaline also manufactures and distributes Habari salt within the East African market and capitalises on using the same channels of distribution for Kay salt which is reserved for only the Kenyan market.

Krystalline Salt Limited seems to be be paying a deaf ear to the fact that tax evasion by individuals, corporations and trusts is totally prohibited, and highly punishable; it without doubt facilitates the misrepresentation of the actual economic state to the tax authorities reducing their tax liability characterised by dishonest tax reporting like declaring less income, profits or gains differing from the actual amount.

At a busy trading center like the st. Balikudembe (Owino Market) in Mengo Kisenyi, Kampala, there’s case evidence of wholesale stores with Kay Salt in bulky stocks.

The Kay salt producers have not only evaded taxes and other import duties, but also lubricated excruciating losses to legal brands on the market, dropping their sales to over a 60 percentage decrease.

It is reported that the Kenya bound salt product is smuggled into Uganda via it’s borders of Busia and Malaba.

One anonymous trader revealed the different ways salt is smuggled into the country; he said it’s mainly smuggled through narrow ‘panya’ paths by facilitated by bicycle riders who make many trips a day with small quantities. Then people with disabilities with their wheel chair bicycles make several trips a day with reasonable quantities, And then the big trucks which directly pass through the right paths after bribing their way through.

The Traders admitted that the illegal purchase of the product is cheaper at the border, where they purchase to sale in different packages.

Reports also indicate that Kay salt is not only smuggled into Uganda, but also Burundi, DR Congo and South Sudan.

By doing so, Kay salt is breaching the Uganda Revenue Authority importing requirements that include; import declaration, content particulars, suppliers invoice, documented evidence, carriage of goods, customs value declaration, compliance information, good release order, among other elements.

 

By Baron Kironde

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Government Inks Oil Pipeline Deal With Total…

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President Yoweri Museveni today presided over the signing of the Host Government Agreement (HGA) for the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project between the government and Total.

Museveni congratulated Total upon concluding this agreement which he said will now move Uganda closer to production of crude oil in Uganda.

“It has taken long but I want to assure Ugandans that this was deliberate. We have gone through every item,” Museveni said.

Statiscally, Uganda as a country has oil as a small fraction of its wealth. The big part is agriculture, industry, services and human resource. Museveni however said that Oil can be a good spark for transformation.

“It will bring money which we shall use to develop infrastructure, science and technology. This money will not be used for consumption. We shall use it to enhance our durable capacity,” Museveni said.

“I welcome our partners from France, led by the Total CEO and Chairman, Patrick Pouyanne. I will get in touch with His Excellency John Pombe Magufuli to follow up on Tanzania’s host agreement,” he added.

Museveni congratulated the Ugandan team, and commended them for being good negotiators.

Museveni confirmed that Uganda now has a good petroleum team in terms of science, economics, adding that they always help him because they know everything that’s happening across the world in the oil sector.

 

By Baron Kironde

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KCCA PAC Reveals Gross Mismanagement, Double Payments And Undue Payments To Unscrupulous Companies China Railway Group Seven, Energo Projekt – Lord Mayor Lukwago Says…

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Lord Mayor Lukwago receiving the report

The Capital City Public Accounts Committee (CCPAC) has revealed in its report today gross mismanagement, double payments and undue payments by KCCA to different stakeholders without following the due processes.

The Lord Mayor and his Executive Committee received the CCPAC Report at the Lord Mayor’s Gardens at City Hall from the Chairman Mr. Bob Kabaziguruka pursuant to Section 58 (9) of the KCCA Act.

CCPAC exercised its mandate of examining reports from the Auditor General and the Chief Internal Auditor for the financial years 2016/17 to 2017/18 as per the law established and therein made recommendations about the same.

Lukwago later wrote, “The Report highlighted gross mismanagement, double payments and undue payments by KCCA to different stakeholders without following the due processes. There are glaring findings particularly about Lot (1-6) where the initial estimated cost was Ugx 92,680,000,000 yet it ended up to Ugx 157,696,105,951.”

“The Secretary for Finance and Administration Hon. Moses Kataabu observed that with such inflated figures and exorbitant expenditures, Kampala Capital City Authority has lost colossal sums of money to unscrupulous companies like the China Railway Group Seven that was black listed by the World Bank. Many companies were awarded with lumpsum contracts to the detriment of tax payers,” he added.

Lukwago said that other discrepancies highlighted in the report include:

– KCCA buying the contractor equipment as it was with the China Railway Seventh Group which had its Surveying and Laboratory equipment paid for by KCCA.

– There were double payment as in the incident where Energo Projekt was paid for designing the road yet it had already been paid for in the initial contract. This followed a slight adjustment of the road under Lot 2.

– There were price hikes in the contracts of Kiziri Road in Nakawa Division under Lot 4 that was undertaken by Sterling Civil Engineering Limited from the initial 3 bn to 8.5 bns with just a 0.1 Kilometer length increment.

KCCA awarded contracts without securing the land that was to be used. Such encumbrances drained the KCCA accounts as it was during the Lot 2 and Lot 4 where 428 million was paid as interest payment.

– The Youth Fund also has cases where close to 200 million is unaccounted for out of the 3.5 bn that was allocated to KCCA. The rest can’t be satisfactorily accounted for and many of the youths that benefited from the grant can’t be traced.

Lukwago asked the Minister for Kampala to present the report to Parliament for scrutiny adding that no CCPAC has been presented to the Parliament from 2016.

He also reminded the Country that Kampala has just a third of constructed roads yet the then head of Technical Wing Jennifer Ssemakula Musisi and Director Legal Mr. Ouma Charles misused the mandate from the Authority when awarding such fraudulent contracts and therefore have to be held accountable.

The Lord Mayor reiterated that need of the oversight role from the political leadership to help in service delivery and frugality to the Authority Accounts.

He called for adequate funds from the Central Government to facilitate works at the Authority for better services in a bid to create an inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable City.

 

By Grapevine Reporter

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Dott Services Ready To Hand Over State Of The Art Arua Central Market To Locals To Boost Trade In New City….

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Two years back, Dott Services Ltd. embarked on a government project to construct Arua Central Main Market, the first of its kind in the whole district.

The Shs34.9bn Arua Central Market project was funded by the Africa Development Bank (ADB) under the Ministry of Works and construction commenced on the 18th Feb 2018 and the market will be ready for use by the 18th of October this year.

Mr. Mayombwe Hudson

Mr. Mayombwe Hudson, the site surveyor and supervisor confirmed that the project is 90% complete, “There’s no other structured market like this one in Arua, it will serve not only Arua but other neighboring places like Maracha and even Congo among other places.”

After completion, the Arua Central Main Market that sits on approximately four acres of land will be just enough to house thousands of traders. With a distribution of three levels of construction namely; the basement floor, ground floor and top floor with two major blocks (A and B) subdivided into two each (A1, A2 and B1, B2).

The market will among other businesses accommodate lockup shops, clothing and textile, fresh foods and beverages, restaurants, saloons plus many more related businesses.

The state of the art architectural plan of the central market is a master stroke, because of its user friendly nature; it will without doubt successfully help solve the question of crowding and untidiness so common in highly populated markets.

The entire basement will upon completion be powered by a 24/7 solar system to light away the shades of darkness underneath the building.

The market has a garbage collection area inside each one of the three floors, on both blocks. It is designed with a big tunnel that runs from the top to the basement, where garbage trucks will line up in turns to carry off the garbage in an extended effort to efficiently do away with littering.

The facility has cleaner’s rooms, equally distributed toilet rooms on each floor, including a provision for people with disabilities and a safe day care center ample space to accommodate nursing children of workers.

Besides designing stalls for fish and state of the art butcheries with drainage channels, the architectural plan of the facility also has a provision for fixed stoves for restaurants and kitchen use specially designed with smoke absorbers, powered by solar system regulators.

Dott Services area site surveyor however pointed out torrential rainfalls as a big upset to their work, and also admitted that the outbreak of the coronavirus has slowed down their works, citing that unlike basic building materials like cement which can be purchased locally, they strictly can only ship in some materials from abroad for construction, freezing their operations a numerous number of times.

 

By Baron Kironde

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