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Kampala Traders Call For New Policy On Interest Rates

Adam Kassim Kyazze (Centre) and other traders addressing the press

 

Traders in Kampala have raised fears about the unprecedented loan regime with abnormal interest rates, with calls for authorities to rein in over loan sharks operating in the country.

 

Speaking at the press conference in Kampala on Friday, Adam Kassim Kyazze, one of the traders based in Kisenyi, Kampala, expressed fears that many of their fellow traders’ properties are on the brink of auction by money lenders.

 

“Many traders’ properties have been auctioned and many traders have been arrested for loan default. We have not been helped by the government,” Kyazze said.

He also pointed out that the case of Hamis Kiggundu and Diamond Trust Bank could set a bad precedent with the traders borrowing from foreign banks.

“We appeal to the government to look into the activities of the foreign banks. We ask the government to come up with a fair interest rate because most of the shops in town are empty yet URA needs taxes,” he appealed

Some of the small traders expressed fear that money lenders exaggerate interest rates and also confiscate their national IDs and others properties.

Ashraf Babalanda, another trader from Kisenyi called for awareness from authorities on how enforcement agencies should work in line of duty especially when executing their duties to ensure loan repayment.

Richard Yiga, another trader in Kampala said that the informal sector should be protected from unfair loans and ridiculous interest rates.

“We are afraid that the crime levels may rise if the small scale traders are not treated fairly. The government should come up with clear policies on loans issued in Uganda,” he said.

Uganda Police Force recently  warned moneylenders against taking National Identification Cards as collateral for loans issued to borrowers. The law enforcement body said national IDs have no economic or monetary value and are supposed to be used exclusively for identification purposes.

 

 

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