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Government reinstates road user fees for taxis, commercial vehicles

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Government has reinstated operational fees for taxis and other commercial vehicles in Kampala city. In 2017, the government stopped Kampala Capital City Authority- KCCA from collecting road user fees from taxis following complaints from the operators saying the charges were exorbitant.

The operators used to pay Shillings 120,000 monthly. Sam Serunkuma, the director revenue collection at KCCA says prior to the suspension of the road user fees, the Authority used to collect over Shillings 20 billion from taxis.

He however says government reinstated the fees whose payment will commence in 2021. According to Serunkuma, the operators will pay the money to Uganda Revenue Authority which will then remit the funds to KCCA.

He says the reinstatement of the fees will be a huge boost to the Authority amidst challenges of low funding that the Authority has been grappling with for long.

According to a statutory instrument signed by the Minister of Local Government Raphael Magyezi, vehicles carrying between seven to twenty passengers shall pay Shillings 720,000 annually. However, this applies to vehicles operating within KCCA jurisdiction.

Vehicles with the same capacity operating beyond KCCA jurisdiction shall be required to pay Shillings 840,000. Sserunkuma says KCCA shall get 60% of the money while the local council where the vehicle goes shall get the remaining 40%.

The instrument further notes that vehicles with a sitting capacity from 21 passengers to over 60 will pay annual fees of Shillings 2.4 million. Moses Mawejje, the spokesperson of Kampala Operational Taxi Stages Association- KOTSA has welcomed the idea and expressed their readiness to comply.

He says what taxi operators need are services like rehabilitation of taxi parks and proper sanitation in parks among others.

Mustafa Mayambala, the chairman of Uganda Transport Development Agency- UTRADA, says that taxi operators are ready to comply after all it is not an exorbitant sum like it was previously when money was being set and collected by private individuals.

He says when taxis contribute to the treasury, they will stand in a better position to demand for services like better roads and proper maintenance of parks among others. Mayambala however asked that the money be paid in installments such that it is not a condition for one to get a Passenger Service Vehicle license.

The instrument says that the license shall be issued upon presenting proof of payment of road user fees.

According to the instrument, anyone who doesn’t abide, their vehicle shall be impounded and parked at a designated parking yard. “Towing and parking fees where applicable shall be paid by the driver or owner of the impounded vehicle,” reads the instrument.

The instrument also states that failure to pay or obstruct an officer from enforcing payment, one commits an offense and is liable for conviction to a fine not exceeding Shillings 200,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding a year or both.

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