ADUKU – Obaya Keny James, the town clerk of Aduku Town Council, has told boda-boda riders that their life of pleasures must be tempered with caution.
He said their knack for lavish spending on booze and betting will only keep them trapped in poverty.
Speaking to theCooperator recently, Obaya said a sweeping none-tax compliance crackdown on May 25 impounded over 100 motorbikes in the town center for failing to remit the annual operational license fees.
“We have impounded 103 boda-boda motorcycles in a massive operation targeting riders who have failed to pay the annual operational license fee of Shs 70,000 for the last two years. How can a boda-boda rider who makes about Shs 50,000 a day fail to pay the annual subscription of Shs 70,000? Let them stop living luxurious lifestyles and be responsible,” he said in an interview.
He said on average, the Aduku Town Council has lost more than Shs 100 million in unpaid taxes.
“During the last financial year 2019/2020, Aduku Town Council collected only Shs 50.3 million in local revenue out of the projected Shs 156 million (about 34.0%). This has greatly affected service delivery,” he said.
Aduku Town Council Vice Chairman Peter Otim said a number of council activities have been put off due to poor local revenue compliance. Although many businesses were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, Otim asked the business fraternity to pay local government taxes in order to improve on service delivery.
“I am appealing to the business fraternity, endeavor to pay the local taxes as this would enable the urban authority to manage garbage and generally improve on service delivery,” he noted.
Margaret Adero, a member of Kwania Boda-Boda Riders’ Association, said the Covid-19 induced lockdown has negatively impacted the boda-boda industry. “Even if we get these motorbikes out, we wouldn’t make money from them. Boda-bodas have just resumed operation and we should be given time to recover from the Covid-19 negative effects,” she said.
The Chairperson Kwania Boda Boda Motorcyclists Association, Walter Opyene described the crackdown as ‘untimely.’ He argued that during the Covid-19 induced lockdown, boda-boda riders were restricted and hardly made any money. He argued that the government should organize the sector and help boda-boda operators diversify into other economic activities like agriculture.
“We have multi-purpose boda-boda cooperatives and if they (government) can give us money, we can engage in other economic ventures like agriculture, so that we don’t have to only rely on riding boda-bodas for a living, which is difficult to survive on currently,” Opyene said.
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