Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Entebbe taxi tax enforcement team has impounded several private vehicles that illegally get involved in carrying passengers. The vehicles were impounded during an operation conducted along Entebbe highway near State House on Monday.
Taxi operators in the area blame private vehicle owners who carry passengers without paying any taxes or fees thus under-pricing and messing up their business. They carried out the operation to ensure that all taxis park in the reserved park yards and pay the annual or monthly fees for public service vehicles as stipulated by the Ministry of Works and Transport.
Some of the illegal taxi operators masquerade as State House staff hence the angry enforcement team’s choice of location for the operation next to State House to see if any intercession would come from the highest ‘house’ in the land to rescue the illegal operators. But none has come since the operation started on Monday morning.
The enforcement team is so angry because the private vehicle operators are paying nothing yet every taxi driver has paid over 680,900 Shillings in income tax and other commercial levies.
But the team is also incensed because they claim the private vehicle owners do not follow the anti-COVID-19 preventive measures which negatively impacts on the public and the genuine taxi operators.
Taxi operators allege that individuals who pose like statehouse staff use private cars especially the ‘drone’ type of minibuses to operate on a stage along Entebbe road unlawfully and carry passengers that has put people’s lives at the stake of spreading COVID-19 since observations show negligence in implementing the SOPs like wearing masks, social distancing and also sanitizing.
During the operation, some of the vehicles impounded had number plates that look like those of government cars and were also taken to Entebbe police station.
Brian Sebijimba, vice-chairperson of Entebbe taxi stages said they will continue hunting down vehicles that operate taxi business illegally with an iron hand regardless of who owns them and they will be impounded. He added that as an association, they have been reporting such cases to all levels of responsible and concerned offices including the Resident District Commissioner – who represents the President.
However, the angry taxi operators have agreed to work with representatives of the offenders to stop the conflict especially in the interest of fighting Covid-19 transmission in vehicles.