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.