Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago has urged the newly inaugurated Members of the City Valuation Court to administer justice in all aspects in its delivery of its responsibilities.
Lukwago made the remarks as members of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Valuation Court took their oaths and are ready for the new court to begin work immediately.
The Valuation Court has powers similar to those of a Magistrate’s court and will handle issues arising from property tax queries.
After valuation, the Court could reduce the rates in case it finds merit in the arguments of the complainants. Its decisions are only reviewed by the High court.
Shortly after inaugurating the new members on Friday, Lukwago urged them to deliver Justice as it was envisaged by the framers of the law and to keep in mind the delicate balance between revenue generation and fairness.
“The owners of the court; the people of Kampala have little knowledge about this court, they don’t even know its existence. Popularise the court and bring it close to the people,” Lukwago said.
He asked the court committee to do a lot of field work in order to make the court visible, adding that property rates are key source of revenue to the city and there are big repercussions when not handled well
He explained that the city executive is in process of further revising property rates in consultation with other stakeholders to introduce other clusters, this will ensure fairness in the tax.
Dorothy Kisaka, KCCA executive director, asked the court to ensure they do things according to law and with justice.
“We expect you to work hard and listen to the complaints of the citizens concerning their property rates. You work consistently, equitably, have integrity and promote justice within the community,” Kisaka said.
The court is also mandated to rule on the reviews of the values, as well as declaring tax exemptions where it deems necessary.
“If you are evaluated and what you have been evaluated is too high, come to the evaluation court. Don’t be there with a complaint about your property and keep quiet about it,” Kisaka said.
The new Members of the Court are; Counsel Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa as the chairperson, Eng. Brian Kayemba and Muwonge Daphne as Members.
Muyizzi said the new court will work hard, apply the rule of law and stay in its lane.
“This court is not for the Lord Mayor, the ED or Executive Committee but for the people of Kampala. I will apply social justice and equity in my service,” Muyizzi said.