Disputes on Taxation in Mogadishu

If the local government in Mogadishu lacks money , then it cannot provide security, nor provide services to the people.

This, in part, contributes to the insecurity of the town, in which ordinary people pay hefty price, their life.

Time, to empower Banadir Regional Administration, BRA to make Mogadishu safe and provide social services to the needy people. Time to also to end corruption, and then use the available resources to end the deadly corrupt insurgency.

Taxation disputes is raging between BRA and Ministry of Finance, MOF, of the federal government of Somalia.

According to the spokesperson of BRA, Ali Mohamud Seeko [1], MOF has violated an agreement that it has reached with BRA, regarding allowing BRA to collect revenues from Mogadishu, excluding the air and sea port, in which BRA will receive 15% cut from the revenue of the port, starting April first, 2014.

Up to now, close to seven months later, Seeko says, BRA did not receive the money, 15% from the port.

Moreover, MOF continues to collect taxation from markets, exit and entry points of the town, in violation to the agreement reached.

According, to Seeko, the tax collectors, according to the agreement, were expected to deposit the collected money in the central bank within 24 hours.

The money was not deposited, according to Seeko, the spokesperson of BRA.

An advisor to the BRA speaking to BBC Somali service [2] has also confirmed that BRA does not collect tax from the main market in the town, Bakara; others, he said, collect taxes from the market. It is not clear who these tax collectors are.

BRA chairman Hassan Hussein, known as Muungaab, stated yesterday, speaking to a training seminar for some employees of the BRA, his administration lacks power to negotiate with the MOF, and FGS, in general because he is an appointed leader, not elected or selected leader, as is the case in other parts of the country. Thus, he is not able to do much of the injustices Mogadishu people are suffering unless the administration gets local council that has vested powers to elect its chairman until such time as direct election is possible.

During -Abdullahi Yusuf-Hassan Adde era BRA had a local council that has been vested with the powers to elect its chairman. They were later disbanded. The power to appoint leadership to the BRA was sustained by successive presidents.

Since the government was controlling only, in some cases, Mogadishu alone, or part of Mogadishu, successive Presidents did not want to let others take this power of choosing leadership for BRA. Mogadishans did not protest about this either forcefully. It is time to give power to the people.

Traders in one of the biggest markets in the town, Hamarwayne, have refused to pay taxes to MOF today, by closing their business and demonstrating in front of the local district office[3].



[1] http://radiokulmiye.com/knn/maamulka-gobolka-banaadir-oo-eedeeyay-wasaarada-maaliyadadhageyso/

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