On October 16th, 2019, Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA directed all Taxis plying the Entebbe route to relocate from Old Taxi Park to Usafi Park by Friday October 25th, 2019. The directive affected several stages including Kajjansi, Zana- Namasuba, Kasenyi, Ndeeba- Sembuule, Kibuye Queens way and Ndejje.
A week after being
relocated to Usafi Taxi Park, drivers plying the Entebbe route are complaining
of low business. They say many passengers are yet to embrace the change.
On October 16th,
2019, Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA directed all Taxis plying
the Entebbe route to relocate from Old Taxi Park to Usafi Park by Friday
October 25th, 2019. The directive affected several stages including
Kajjansi, Zana- Namasuba, Kasenyi, Ndeeba- Sembuule, Kibuye Queens way and
They were replaced by vehicles connecting to Kansanga,
Ggaba, Muyenga, Buziga, Makindye Nabisalu Stage via Nsambya and Salaama
Nabisalu via Nsambya that were around Shoprite, Shell and Gapco Fuel stations.
The reorganization and traffic changes
are intended to improve traffic flow during the implementation of Kampala
Flyover Project and renovation of Namirembe-Luwum Street.
spoke to some of the taxi operators who were
relocated from the Old Taxi Park to Usafi to establish how business is moving. Benya
Ssengendo Mukasa, a taxi conductor on Entebbe stage, says the turn-up of
passengers is still low but hopes the situation will improve with time when
they embrace the change. Mukasa spoke to URN around 1pm and had just filed his
taxi ready to make his first trip contrary to the old taxi park where he would
be making the second trip.
//Cue in: “Naye kati ngenda…
Cue out: …gyasigadde gyegyo”//
Husain Muledu, a taxi driver at Entebbe stage also says
passenger turn up is still low yet there are over 300 taxis at the stage. He hadn’t
made a second trip when our reporter spoke to him around 1pm on Thursday.
Muledu blames the low turn up on taxis that have defied the
KCCA directive and continued operating on the streets. URN observed that there
still are taxis operating on the streets around Aponye Mall and Shoprite. He says they tried to engage the errant
operators but they told them off and wants KCCA to intervene and ensure
compliance of all taxi operators.
//Cue in: “Nze ku ssawa…
Cue out: …eri waggulu”//
Emmanuel Lubega, a driver and Committee member at Namasuba
Najjanankumbi stagein Usafi Taxi Park, says they haven’t yet reaped from the
relocation. Lubega has been operating in Usafi taxi since its establishment
more than six years ago.
He however, says business hasn’t picked up due to the low
turn up of passengers. The new traffic guidelines gave him hope that the
number of passengers would raise but this hasn’t materialized yet as taxis
operating on streets continue to trap passengers.
//Cue in: “Emmotoka zazze…
Cue out: …Usafi obutaalibaddewo”//
When KCCA moved the taxis to Usafi Taxi Park, the management
agreed and allocated them two major spaces to operate from. Entebbe stage has
been established at the lower part of Usafi park while Zana, Kajjansi, Namasuba
stages among others operate from the upper part of the park close to the Mengo
Musa Muleme, the chairman of Usafi Market area, says that
they created the new stages to ensure sanity in the park. The stages have been
created depending on the destination of taxis.
//Cue in: “Entebbe road waliwo…
Cue out: …baalina kutwaala”//
Taxi operators are doing all they can to guide passengers to
the park. They have placed placards indicating different stages and deployed
touts calling on passengers. The touts stand with the placards on the street
between Nakivubo and Usafi to guide passengers.
In the park, more touts guide passengers to the different new
stages. Never the less some customers still find it difficult to get to
the taxis. One of the passenger said she had lost her way but was guided by the
taxi operators. Apart from the park being new to many of the passengers, the
distance is also worrying.
A passenger who only identified himself as Phizo, a resident
of Entebbe, says he cannot walk from town to Usafi and therefore has to incur
an extra cost of Shillings 2000 to take a Boda Boda from the old taxi park to
//Cue in: “It is tiresome…
Cue out: …five hundred”//
The KCCA Spokesperson, Peter Kauju couldn’t be
reached for a comment on what they intend to do to ensure full compliance with
Kampala Metropolitan Police Deputy Spokesperson,
Luke Oweyesigyire, says despite the distance, the route to Usafi is safe for
passengers to walk. He says that with the presence of Clock tower, Biwologoma
and Usafi police posts, there shouldn’t be any security fears.
URN saw some Local Defense Unit-LDU personnel on the same
route who Oweyesigyire, says have been there since the unit was rolled out to
beef security in the area. He says that the crime rate on that route has
reduced and hence safe for people.
Police has also deployed at closed roads to ensure that the KCCA
directive is respected. Alongside changes in taxi parks, KCCA directive also
affected some roads. The section of Burton Street between Ben Kiwanuka Street
and William Street were made two-way while Burton Road, Sikh Road section
between Buxton Road and Shoprite Junction were made one way.