A group of six outdoor advertising companies has dragged Kampala Capital City Authority to court demanding a 25 billion shillings refund collected from them in terms of advertising fees and charges.
The companies including the National Outdoor Advertising Contractors Association Limited, Prime Media Network Limited,AD Concepts Limited, Level 5 Associates Limited, Capital Outdoor Advertising Company Limited and Adman Source and Contacts Limited say in 2008 Kampala City Council developed the city outdoor advertising policy which created various advertising rates and fees to be paid as a pre-requisite for carrying out their outdoor advertising business in the city and that they are payable on an annual basis.
They also say that when KCCA was formed in 2011, it worked closely with the companies to streamline their business but went ahead to implement the outdoor advertising rates formulated by Kampala City Council, a move they say was illegal.
“The defendant(KCCA) has over time levied agency fees on the plaintiffs on top of trading licence fees .The defendant has further levied charges on the plaintiffs on outdoor advertising tools despite the same having been levied and collected by Uganda National Roads Authority,” the companies say.
The companies say that in 2018, KCCA revised the outdoor advertising rates and made a more than 100% increment on all rates and charges adding that with time, their billboards, signages and other advertising tools have been defaced ,removed or destroyed by KCCA in the event they delay to pay the new rates.
“The plaintiffs have made several attempts to negotiate with the defendant , several meetings and correspondences have been made with a view of obtaining a mutual way forward but have not yielded much result due to lack of cooperation from the defendant who has become an aggressor towards the plaintiff’s activities and business.”
The outdoor advertising companies say by inheriting the from Kampala City Council’s city outdoor advertising policy of 2008 and its revised rates by KCCA that have since been implemented through being charged without any enabling law is are illegal, unlawful, null and void.
The six outdoor advertising companies want court to declare illegal, the all the advertising rates charged by KCCA against them without an enabling law.
They also want court to declare that KCCA’s advertising policy and guidelines of 2008 are without legal basis and all payments so far paid between 2008 and 2019 totaling to over shs25 billion by the companies are illegal and unlawful.
“A declaration that the defendant’s unilateral actions of removal, defacing and destruction of outdoor advertising tools of the plaintiffs without recourse to lawful and just procedures is illegal and unconstitutional.”
They also want court to order a refund of all illegal advertising rates and incremental fees and charges paid to KCCA by the companies refunded and stopping the body from levying the fees, defacing and removal of their advertising tools.