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Kampala MPs oppose taxi, boda boda post-COVID guidelines

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament from Kampala district have criticized the proposed public transport guidelines to be implemented after the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. These accuse the Minister in Charge of Kampala Betty Amongi of coming up with the guidelines without the necessary consultations with city leaders and stakeholders in the sector.

The legislators; Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante, Makindye West MP Ibrahim Kasozi, Kampala Central MP Mohammed Nsereko and Makindye East MP Alan Sewanyana told journalists in Kampala yesterday that the government is taking advantage of the COVID-19 lockdown to implement unpopular policies that were defeated in the past.

Among the proposed public transport guidelines is a plan to phase out 385 boda boda stages and create Boda free zones in the city. KCCA technocrats have mapped out only 970 boda boda stages so far. They also plan to restrict commuter taxi access to the city.

But the legislators say that the guidelines will further impoverish the urban poor who have suffered the most during a lengthy and crippling COVID-19 lockdown that has seen businesses shut and transport suspended. Kampala Central MP Mohammed Nsereko urged the government to desist from causing further distress to the impoverished city dwellers.

Nsereko says that regulation was not bad but it needed to be made in a clear manner.

Moses Kasibante, the Rubaga North MP says that it’s absurd that none of them was consulted when  the minister was coming up with the guidelines.

He criticized a plan to compel any boda boda wishing to operate in the city to be registered under digital private companies using apps like Safe Boda. Kasibante says it is highly irregular for the government to act as a broker for the private companies who own the apps without a law governing the relationship between the rider and private company.

Kasibante alleged that the owners of these ride hailing apps are exploitative and determine poor income rates boda boda’s.

Alan Sewanyana from Makindye West observed a need for the Minister of Kampala to engage leaders about any new plans so that consultation is carried out among the affected parties.

MP Ibrahim Kasozi said that government should not take advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to suppress the disadvantaged.




  1. As much we feel for the ‘urban poor’, Kampala City is in urgent need of reorganization which is long overdue and that has greatly contributed to the improvisation of those seeking to do business in an orderly way.
    Sincerely, how can people start selling tomatoes on pavements and walkways in a City ?
    As much as bodabodas are a relief and a livelihood to many, they are also a great problem to a very large extent due to a disorganized way they operate.
    The outcry from the Kampala MPs is insincere for there is no way they would or will ever agreed to reorganization of the city for reasons best known to them.
    Yes, there is hardship caused by this covid-19 pandemic and yet there are opportunities that must be seized; such as reorganization of both taxis and bodabodas in the city and also markets that need to be overhauled.

    • “yet there are opportunities that must be seized; such as reorganization of both taxis and bodabodas in the city and also markets that need to be overhauled.”

      The “grabbing of opportunities and reorganisation of Kampala” will directly cause unemployment of 200,000 taxi drivers, conductors bodaboda riders, stage guides and further unemployment of 50,000 mechanics, spare-part dealers, hawkers, food vendors,car washers,etc and also disrupt the lives of more than 400,000 dependents of these newly and unnecessarily unemployed drivers, conductors, mechanics, bodaboda riders etc.

      This will worsen the already unacceptably high unemployment rate in the country and likely result in an increase insecurity all because some “elites” would like to live in a clean and organized Kampala.

      This “reorganization and grabbing of opportunities” will increase cost of living for all city residents as reorganizing and cleaning the city will require an increase in resources for city council operations necessitating an increase in taxation such local government tax for formally employed persons, increase in number of licences and licence fees, ground rent, rental income tax etc. It’s doubtful if those advocating these changes will willingly accept this increased taxation.

      Lastly It would arguably better if the capital city is relocated back to Entebbe were government and the elites can create and occupy the idealized clean and organized city and leave Kampala to the everyday people.

  2. Many people will loose jobs, But you should know that sacrifises always happen, for this case it will be alot to bare but people adapt, if we want a neat city, organised, and clean, a great city, then certain things have to be reduced in it, chaotic things like boda bodas and taxis, well, and some private cars too in favour of good effective large public transport system like buses, this way people will leave their pruvate cars home in favour of organised public transport, hense even reducing jam, other countries have done it, but Uganda still denies it, reason being some of the MPs own and have several boda bodas and taxis even, it would be bad for them becoz they would be loosing their source of income too, i think there should be some kind of gov’t compensation to those who directly loose their jobs to this project, meanwhile kampala is not the only city, if you fail in kampala, there plenty of more cities to work in, boda bodas and taxis are the roots of kampalas developement, they are what made kampala to develope so fast, but they have become a mess, if they could follow rules of the city in and orderly way then i support them to stay in kampala, but if the rules are broken daily by a few boda bodas then they shud be confisticated so that the remaining can follow rules well

    • Most of those people (minimum 500,000 in number) that will lose their jobs are between 17- 35years and physically capable of serious crimes and could easily overwhelm the current police and army if government doesn’t bolster the numbers and equipment for the army and a country we shouldn’t waste our limited resources on obvious and avoidable problems.

      Government and the “elites” should face the reality that these taxi drivers,bodabodas etc are fellow citizens with their own economic interests that cannot be sacrificed for the frivolous interests of the elites such as a clean & organized kampala but instead look at relocating capital city back to Entebbe or even to Gulu, Mbale,Mbarara, Arua etc or even constructing a new city from scratch.

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