Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A war of words has erupted between traders dealing in textile fabrics and Nytil, a renowned manufacturer of the same.
Nytil opened up company outlets on one of the buildings in Arua park area in Kampala, and Busia border town which traders say is to kick them out of business. They have also accused it of several other inadequacies.
On Wednesday last week, Kampala City Traders Association-KACITA demanded immediate action and gave a 7days ultimatum to the government to sort this out.
It is a government policy to substitute importation of some goods with locally manufactured ones and numerous measures have been put in place to ensure the success of the same.
However, for long it has been hampered by several shortcomings mostly arising from clashes between manufacturers and traders, and there are no laws streamlining their relationship.
Didas Nzabanita, a textile dealer says that he deals with Nytil as producers, and purchases a roll at 405,000 shillings, and with other costs when it reaches the market, he has to sell it at more than 410,000 shillings, a price Nytil sells at their retail shop.
Nzabanita adds that this practice by Nytil indicates that there is a planned plot to kick them out of business intentionally. He asks them to go back and focus on their manufacturing role because the law doesn’t even allow what they are doing.
“Nytil cannot even produce the quantity we the market demand for example, so now they are crossing the line,” Nzabanita fumed.
Another dealer Simon Peter Osita, says that it really annoys to see the people who advised the president to insist on the import substitution policy, are now shifting to retailing.
“These people are breaking the trust, yet it is the backbone of doing business worldwide,” Osita said.
Thaddeus Musoke Nagenda, the KACITA chairperson called upon NYTIL and other manufacturers to respect the trade chain and requested that the ministry of trade urgently intervenes in the matter. He also promised to engage NYTIL furthermore.
He says undermining the trade chain will have several consequences, and will keep many people out of business since NYTIL doesn’t even have commitments with any of the dealers.
On the other hand, Richard Mubiru, a director at NYTIL said that the traders are just acting in excitement and jumping on baseless rumours, explaining that the Kampala outlet is just for picking orders, especially for the upcountry customers, while that of Busia for export purposes.
Mubiru claimed that NYTIL’s one outlet in Kampala has no capacity to distort the entire country’s retail trade, and advised the traders to widen their businesses to other parts of the country instead of limiting themselves to Kampala.
“Our dealers are not complaining about the development, and in any case, if they had any complaint, they know where to find us,” Mubiru added.
About the poor quality products, another concern raised by traders, Mubiru scoffed that UNBS is the determinant of quality, not KACITA.
And about the inability to satisfy the market demand, he told traders to source from other East African countries since they all have manufacturers of the same, saying it is cheaper for them than going to China.
Mubiru says that having an outlet is not illegal in Uganda, and they will be seeking redress in law about the other glaring allegation from the traders which are defamatory.