In October 2020, the KCCA Executive Director, Dorothy Kisaka visited the park and set a deadline of four weeks within, which to complete the works. Still, it didn’t happen. In December 2020, KCCA told URN that it would give the people of Kampala a Christmas gift with the reopening of the park.
Capital City Authority-KCCA has for the third time in a row failed to beat its
own target to complete the works in the old Taxi Park.
When the construction started in May 2020, KCCA said Sterling
Construction Company and Kiru Technical Services limited would complete the works
within three months in vain. By mid-August, the contractors were still laying
the pavement layer and drainage system.
In October 2020, the KCCA Executive Director, Dorothy Kisaka visited the park
and set a deadline of four weeks within, which to complete the works. Still, it
didn’t happen. In December 2020, KCCA told URN that it would give the people of
Kampala a Christmas gift with the reopening of the park.
This too never materialized. In February 2021, the Minister
for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Betty Amongi visited the Park and set
another completion date of March 4th, 2021. At the time, the
contractors were completing construction of the pavement layer and drainage
system inside the park.
However, up-to-now, the park is incomplete. The contractors
are laying the pavement layer on the piece of land behind the commercial
buildings in the park along Burton Street, complete the drainage system inside
and outside the park and install pedestrian shades.
They also have to renovate the buildings in the park and
construct a toilet block and the periphery of the park. URN couldn't establish the
cause for the delay since the KCCA Engineer in Charge of Constructions and tKCCA
Spokesperson, Daniel NuweAbine were not reachable.
However, previously KCCA has blamed the delay on the heavy rains that delayed
excavation works and the much sand soil which needed to be excavated in large
amounts before putting the rock fill. They also said the curfew instituted
because of the COVID 19 affected their manpower.
Business people operating within and around the Park say the
temporary closure of the park has had a big impact on their businesses. Christine
Nalukwago, a food vendor in the old tax Park, says when the Park was active,
she prepared and sold a whole bag of Matooke and at least 10 Kilograms of meat
But now, Nalukwago reports selling only three bunches of
Matooke and five Kilograms of meat. Most of her customers are taxi operators
and passengers, she says. Now her employees have to go to the streets and call
customers to the eatery.
//Cue in: "Kati okuddamu...
Cue out: ...nabwo nobufumba nebudiba"//
Lusembo Sseguya, who sells shoes at a small store on Hanifa Towers, also says
business is low since there are no passengers in the park. Sseguya says while previously he received at
least 10 new customers at his store, now only one comes daily.
He survives majorly
on sales to his longtime customers.
//Cue in: "Anti Kati obuzibu...
Cue out: ...bwebutubeezayo eno"//
King Saad, a street vendor in the park and on Luwum street also decried the low
business. He runs his business mainly in the night when KCCA law enforcement
officers have ended their operations against street vendors. Saad targeted
passengers coming to the park and those being offloaded from taxis.
Saad says that while previously he would make sales worth Shillings 200,000 in
a night, now he struggles to make Shillings 10,000.
//Cue in: "Park Edda nga...
Cue out: ...tebaliimunnyo kale"//
Taxi Operators, who also operated in the old taxi park, say life on the street
is hard especially when they have to pay parking fees to Multiplex. They want
KCCA to expedite the works. Meanwhile as the park reopens, KCCA says only 344
taxis out of over 450 shall be allowed back.
The other taxis will be required to wait outside
and only access the park when due to load, a move intended to stop congestion.