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Gov’t to operationalise boda boda free zone in November

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government has extended deadline for operationalization of the boda boda free zone in Kampala to November 1st.

The boda boda free zone will run along the boundaries of Wampewo roundabout- Jinja road to Kitgum house junction – Access road – Mukwano road to Clock Tower –Kafumbe Mukasa road –Kisenyi road –Mackay road- Kyaggwe road- Watoto Church-Bombo road – Wandegeya – Hajji Musa Kasule road- Mulago roundabout- Kamwokya junction – Sturrock road – Prince Charles Drive- Lugogo Bypass–Jinja Road- Wampewo roundabout.

On Monday, when boda bodas resumed their normal operations after four months of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many rode through the free zone prompting police to impound their motorcycles.

Speaking at Uganda Media Center on Wednesday, the Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Betty Amongi said during the three months grace period, the government will demarcate the free zone, stages and erect signage, engage boda boda operators on standardizing fees at stages and sensitize the operators on registration.

Within the grace period, operators are also required to register through their associations and companies to KCCA while those who do not belong to any register directly at KCCA division offices.

According to the government, the free zone shall only be accessed by utility and delivery service motorcycles.

The Minister of Works and Transport Katumba Wamala says delivery service motorcycles shall be given stickers before they access the zone.

The Ministry of Works issues number plates with a black character on a white background to commercial motorcycles and number plates with black characters on a yellow background to private motorcycles.

However, there are motorcycles with private number plates but operating as passenger carrier motorcycles.

Robert Kisakya the senior licensing officer of number plates at the Ministry of Works and Transport acknowledged the mix up saying several motorcycles have changed use after the acquisition of number plates. He says that with the current registration process, they will work to rectify the problem.

The government also gazetted 585 stages in five divisions of Kampala where boda boda operators should belong. However, several operators have sought more stages saying those gazetted are too small to accommodate over 3,000 riders. Amongi says they will engage the operators and gazette more stages.

Amongi also said that they are soon starting the procurement process for city buses.

Government-approved 40 billion shillings for the implementation of a City bus system in Kampala.

The buses will operate in the free zone.

She adds that part of the money will be used to widen city roads to permit smooth operations of the buses. There is also a proposal to introduce congestion fees payable by owners of private vehicles who would wish to drive into the city.

This is intended to de-congest the city and encourage usage of large capacity vehicles, buses.

She says they are working on getting a large parking area outside the city for private vehicles whose owners access the city using public means.

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