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Absence of Laws Affecting Management of Taxi Industry-Lukwago

Lukwago said that the wrangles between associations of taxi operators, Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA’s failure to collect tax and the uncontrolled fares set by taxi operators all are due to the absence of a guiding law.

Audio 4

The Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has attributed the confusion in the taxi industry to the lack of laws to govern the transport sector.

Lukwago said that the wrangles between associations of taxi operators, Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA’s failure to collect tax and the uncontrolled fares set by taxi operators all are due to the absence of a guiding law.

Lukwago was speaking on Tuesday while meeting taxi operators at City Hall.

In 2017, the government suspended the collection of park user fees following complaints from taxi operators who said 120,000 Shillings was high.

Last year, the cabinet reinstated the fees and the Ministry of Local Government Minister issued a statutory instrument for the collection of park users’ fees. According to the instrument, vehicles with a capacity of between seven to twenty people operating in Kampala are supposed to pay 720,000 Shillings annually.

However, KCCA has not been able to start collections and Lukwago says the authority needs a law before it can implement the cabinet decision.

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In 2013, High Court Judge Benjamin Kabiito ordered KCCA to stop collecting the monthly 120,000 Shillings from all taxi parks, operators and owners until the fee is legally passed by the authority.

According to Lukwago, KCCA started a process to have an ordinance in place to streamline operations of the taxi industry but he says that their efforts were foiled by the Ministry of Works which said it was working on a comprehensive regulation of the entire transport sector.

Lukwago says they have embarked on drafting another ordinance to govern the taxi industry in the city.

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About the Old Taxi Park that was closed for renovation in May 2020 and has not been opened, the City Executive Secretary in charge of Transport and Works Hakim Kizza Sawula says KCCA has not completed several works that fencing, renovating administration offices and constructing passenger shelters.

The KCCA council passed a resolution to open the park on Wednesday, but KCCA management is not certain the park shall be opened because there are several pending works. The management also ordered taxi operators to streamline their leadership before re-opening, a condition Lukwago says can only be met without a guiding law.

Sawula says the construction can continue as the park operates after all the carpet and the drainage system has been constructed.

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Rashid Sekindi, the Uganda Taxi Operator's Federation, an umbrella body for taxi associations like Kampala Operational Taxi Stages Association (KOTSA), Uganda Transport Development Agency (UTRADA), Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA), and Kampala Inter-Taxi Association (KITA) says they are in talks with KCCA to re-open the park.

He says they have held meetings with KCCA management during which they discussed streamlining the operators’ leadership.

Sekindi says it might be impossible for taxis to resume operations in the Old Taxi Park on Wednesday since KCCA is yet to review their report on wrangles and the new leadership for them to decide on re-opening the park. 

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