The Ministry of Kampala Capital City has announced a 30-day suspension of all fees levied on taxi operations in the city as part of the process of regularizing the public transport sector in Kampala and the Greater Metropolitan Area.
According to the Minister for Kamapala City, Hon. Betty Amongi, the decision followed a series of concerns and complaints from the taxi operators regarding the various charges that are being levied by various Associations in the taxi business prompting the city managers to intervene.
The suspended fees include, but are not limited to stage fees, hoarding fees, loading fees, welfare fees, park entry fees. No withdrawals of collected fees will also be permitted within this period.
“Effective 9th/7/2020, all the above charges being charged by various Taxi Associations have been suspended for one month; during this one month, there will be no withdrawal of the collected welfare fees held on the accounts of the various Taxi Associations until the sector is regularized” said Betty in a statement released on Wednesday.
According to the statement, operators have been paying stage fees ranging from UGX.800,000 – 2M, Hoarding fees; 1,000 – 3000/ Park entry fees; 1000 – 4500/ Loading fees; 5,000 – 20,000/ Welfare fee; 20,000 – 50,000/ Stage leaders; 5000 – 50,000.
The statement notes that all taxi drivers being forced to pay the above fees are encouraged to report the cases of extra charges to KCCA Park Administrators or to the nearest Police Station. They can also call KCCA Toll Free line 0800 99 0000.
Minister Amongi also stated that KCCA has received a series of complaints that Private taxi parks are charging parking fees exceeding UGX 3,500 per vehicle per day contrary to the MOU they made with them concerning the cost, which is unacceptable.
In regard to the issue of space, Amongi says KCCA has been engaging the stakeholders in the industry in which it has been agreed to gazette additional taxi parks in the various divisions in Kampala and to re-organize route charts which didn’t follow the original Taxi routes to some destinations.
“Our team from KCCA is working on completing this exercise with the relevant stakeholders.
However, Mr Mustapha Mayambala the chairperson Uganda Transport Development Agency (UTRADA) says they are not aware of such a development and they were not consulted over the matter.
Mustapha says the move to freeze bank accounts for associations in taxi business would greatly impact lives of taxi operators since it is their source of welfare in absence of a formal pension scheme for those in taxi business.
He however noted that UTRADA cannot be one of the associations whose bank accounts will be affected saying they may be non-formal associations existing within taxi parks which have been affected by the minister’s directive.
Hon. Amongin noted that over 15,000 commuter taxis have been registered with KCCA and 14,000 with the Ministry of Works and Transport to-date and assigned route charts for the routes on which they will be plying.