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Following the recent meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and striking traders at State House Entebbe, the president suspended penalties imposed by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). However, the president remained non-committal on the traders’ concerns regarding exorbitant taxes, it’s evident that the Ugandan economy is in dire straits. The introduction of Electronic Fiscal Receipt Issuing Machines (EFRIs) and high taxes have sent shockwaves through the trading sector, leading to widespread protests and a deepening sense of despair.


In the face of mounting challenges, the trust between the government and its citizens is paramount. The government’s approach of providing temporary relief measures, such as the suspension of penalties, addresses only the symptoms of the problem without addressing the underlying causes. Offering temporary solutions akin to painkillers for a chronic ailment only serves to exacerbate the underlying issues. It is time for leadership to prioritize long-term prosperity and well-being of all Ugandans.

One of the key reasons for the high tax burden on businesses is the excessive expenditure of the state. The creation of new administrative units, the appointment of political appointees, and the expansion of the government bureaucracy have all contributed to a bloated and inefficient public sector that drains the economy. By cutting back on such spending, the government could free up funds to reduce taxes and invest in vital areas such as infrastructure and education.

Parliament need to create a slot for the business community in parliament. This would give traders a direct voice in shaping policies that affect their livelihoods. By having their concerns represented at the highest level of government, traders could ensure that their needs are taken seriously and the exorbitant taxes which have become a major obstacle to business growth and profitability, stifling economic activity in the country. Many traders struggle to keep their businesses afloat under the weight of excessive tax liabilities. Reducing taxes would not only ease the financial strain on traders but also stimulate economic activity by encouraging investment and attract investors who in turn contribute to job creation.

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Regrettably, government must reassess its expenditure and prioritize essential services over unnecessary administrative units and political appointments. A leaner government would be better equipped to focus on essential services and prioritize economic growth, by streamlining bureaucracy and cutting unnecessary costs, resources can be redirected towards initiatives that benefit the broader populace and the recent government resolution to monopolize the fuel supply has failed to alleviate the skyrocketing prices. This highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to economic management that prioritizes transparency, efficiency, and accountability.


As trader’s gears up for the upcoming meeting at the Independent Playgrounds on May 7th, I urge the president to heed the voices of the people and champion meaningful reforms. Only through genuine dialogue, decisive action, and inclusive governance can build a future where every Ugandan can thrive. It is my hope that the president will rise to the occasion and lead our nation towards a brighter and more prosperous tomorrow. The time for real solutions is now.

The president must acknowledge that his current economic policies are not working and must be willing to make bold changes. This may involve reducing taxes, cutting government spending, and promoting private sector growth. Failure to do so will only exacerbate the crisis and further damage the livelihoods of Ugandans.  It is time for the president to put the interests of the nation before his own political ambitions. By addressing the concerns of the traders and implementing meaningful economic reforms, he can begin to heal the wounds that have been inflicted upon this country. As the saying goes, ‘pain killers do not cure killing diseases.

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By. Wabusimba Amiri.

Diplomatic Student, Journalist, Communication specialist and Human Right Activist

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1 Comment

  1. pilllow

    May 1, 2024 at 6:07 PM

    Wonderful web site Lots of useful info here Im sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious And obviously thanks to your effort

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