Nakivale (Uganda): Uganda to collect tax in the refugee camp

Nakivale (Uganda): Uganda to collect tax in the refugee camp

The Uganda Revenue Authority plans to collect taxes on houses and households in the refugees. A campaign has been launched to explain the project which is not unanimous. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Awareness activities began on January 23. The Uganda Revenue Authority asks refugees to register in order to receive a tax identification number.

“Nakivale is not a closed camp. Alongside the refugees, there are nationals. It is such a well-inhabited region, a place of free settlement and resettlement. So these people trade and have homes, including refugees. This is why they have to pay taxes and duties, ”explain tax inspectors.

The refugees concerned are those who have a business and own land.

The Nakivale camp is divided into three parts called “Sub camps”, namely Sub Base camp, Sub camp Rubondo and Sub camp Juru.

The area most affected by the taxes is the one called “Base camp” where an urban center of the camp is erected.

The occupants who are not able to pay the taxes must go to live in the areas of Sub camp Rubondo or move to Sub camp Juru, inhabited by the poor or middle-income refugees, also called popular neighborhoods.

The neighborhoods of New Buja and New Hope, mainly inhabited by Burundians and Congolese, are in the part targeted by the tax base. This part is full of beautiful residential houses, some built in solid, private hospitals, butchers or mini-food.

Some refugees appreciate the measure while others feel embarrassed.

“It is truly unacceptable to charge a tax to a refugee who is trying to survive on meaningless income-generating activities,” they say.

“We heard a lot of rumors saying that part of Nakivale, especially the Base camp area will become a small commercial center, we don’t know if this is the start of this project but rather we had to partner up instead of force us to pay taxes,” they add.

Others see it as an advantage.

“When I am going to be given a tax identification number, I will also have a number for my plot. And so, if this area is transformed into an urban center, I could expand and build other apartments for rent. In other words, the plot definitely belongs to me. If this is the way it is organized, it would be very beneficial”.

The Nakivale camp has more than 140,000 refugees, including more than 33,000 Burundians.

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