The transportation business in Uganda, which prior to the COVID-19 saga was thriving humbly is now one of the most affected sectors of the economy. The taxi and bodaboda operators have been evident casualties in this war against the corona pandemic especially now with the changes Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) and Ministry of Works and Transport are putting in place to regularize public transport after the lockdown.
According to Minister for Kampala Betty Amongi, a number of complaints have come up which include; charges being imposed on taxi operators in taxi parks, additional illegal taxi parks, registration of drivers and conductors’ SACCOS, among others.
“Complaints have come up from taxi operators regarding the various charges that are being levied by various associations in the taxi business including stage fees (800,000 to 2milionugx) to be allocated a stag to operate by stage leaders, entry fee per entry (1000-4500ugx) to allow taxis enter the park, hoarding fees (1000-3000ugx), loading fee (5000-20,000ugx) every time a taxi loads passengers, welfare fee, stage leaders fee,” Betty Amongi said. “Effective 9th July 2020, all the above charges have been suspended for one month,” she added.
Amongi announced that during the one month of fees suspension, all bodaboda, taxi drivers and conductors have been urged to form SACCOS or join existing ones to benefit from the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation, a new Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation that is centered on various enterprises / categories / “Emyooga” covering a majority of Ugandans through establishment of parish based associations and establishment of constituency based SACCOS.
The Eligible categories for the Presidential Initiative on Wealth and Job Creation include;
Boda-Boda SACCO, Women Entrepreneurs’ SACCO, Carpenters’ SACCO, Salon Operators’ SACCO, Taxi Operators’ SACCO, Restaurant Owners’ SACCO, Welders’ SACCO, Market Vendors’ SACCO, Youth Leaders’ SACCO, Persons with Disabilities’ SACCO, Produce Dealers’ SACCO, Mechanics’ SACCO, Tailors’ SACCO, Journalists’ SACCO, Performing Artists’ SACCO, Veterans (Veteran Widows and Children) SACCO, Fishermen’s SACCO, Local Leaders SACCO.
The Initiative is also part of the broader NRM principle of socio-economic transformation in which Government has committed itself to convert 68% of our Country’s homesteads currently in subsistence to market oriented production.