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Taxi Registration Frustrates Operators as Hundreds are Turned Away

Hundreds of taxi operators converged at Old Kampala Secondary School and Kitante Primary School on Wednesday to register with the Authority, secure route numbers and colours ahead of the return of public transport on Thursday.
Some of the taxi Operators in New Taxi Park who could not Register

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Dozens of taxi operators have failed to register in the ongoing exercise being conducted by Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA over failure to fulfil what they call unfair conditions.

Hundreds of taxi operators converged at Old Kampala Secondary School and Kitante Primary School on Wednesday to register with the Authority, secure route numbers and colours ahead of the return of public transport on Thursday.

Every driver was required to fill a registration form detailing their name, National Identity card Number and the KCCA City Operator Identification Number, route number and contact. They are also required to present a photocopy of the vehicle logbook or a sales agreement, PSV tax, National Identity Card of taxi owner and driving permit of the driver.

While several operators have registered, dozens of others like Mathias Ssemanda are not lucky because of their failure to meet the registration requirements. Ssemanda, a driver on Bweyogerere stage, says that he was turned away due to the failure to present a logbook. According to Ssemanda, he can’t access the logbook because his boss is away.

//Cue in; "Tugezezaako naye...

Cue out...oli mubbi"//

Nasilu Lubowa from Gayaza Stage in Usafi Taxi Park was bounced from the registration centre at Kitante for lack of a driving permit. He explains that his permit expired during the lockdown and is yet to renew it.    

//Cue; “ Tolinya Kukuubo…  

Cue…KCCA Yabuzemuko.”//

John Kabiito, a driver at Masaka and Mutukula stage in New Taxi Park, says that he couldn’t register because the Passenger Service Van sticker for his taxi expired during the lockdown and doesn’t have money to renew it.  

//Cue in; “Nti emmotoka enkya…  

Cue out…okubeera nga tukola.”//  

Apart from the failure to meet the set conditions for registration, the slow process has let down several drivers. The number of taxi operators coming to register is high and has been worsened by those that abuse the time table set by KCCA.

The timetable indicates that the Old Kampala Secondary School centre will be used to register taxis from New Taxi Park, Kisenyi Park and Namirembe Park and Nateete Park. At Kitante, taxis from USAFI, Nakawa, Namayiba and Kisenyi and Old taxi Park will be registered between June 1 and June 2.

At Old Kampala, one of the officials told URN that at some point they ignored the time table to accommodate those who came in early. An operator from Mukono stage in new tax Park says he is frustrated having walked since Sunday from his home in Busaabala to register in vain. 

//Cue in; “Natambula okuva…

Cue out…mulimu obukulembeze.”//

The long queues have given leeway for bribery at the centres, according to some operators. Ronald Nsubuga Kuteesa, a taxi operator at Mbale stage in the Old taxi Park says he had to part with 30, 000 Shillings in order to be registered. The amount paid to one of the security guards at the entrance saved him from walking again from his home in Matugga, a journey that took him three days.   

//Cue in; City Council erinamu…   

Cue out…ekizibu kyenarabyeeyo.”//

Although the government insists that only registered taxis resume operation tomorrow, thousands of taxis are yet to be registered. And, some operators say they will defy the conditions as they are desperate to resume work. It is not yet clear, which stages have been cleared and how many taxis are registered. The process is planned to end on June 12, 2020.  

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