KAMPALA–Barely a week after President Museveni ordered districts to stop levying multiple taxes on commuter taxis the taxis operators operating along Masaka Road, this morning went on strike protesting the same.
The taxi operators accuse Masaka district officials of ignoring the President’s directive and continuing to levy the taxes.
The infuriated taxi operators parked their vehicles along the main road in an action that paralyzed transport and affected business, especially in the district of greater Masaka and western region. Masaka Road is under the management of Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA).
Hundreds of people were seen stranded in the morning hours, according to eye witnesses.
Rashid Ssekindi, the vice chairman Kampala Operational Taxi Stages Association, blamed the town clerks for ignoring the Presidential directive on the matter.
“We told them we cannot pay license fees on UNRA roads because we pay Shs580,000 road licenses. This is double taxation and President Museveni stopped it,” Ssekindi said.
“I know the town clerks will try to impound our vehicles but they will find resistance,” he added.
To harmonise the situation, government has appointed the permanent secretary in the ministry of Local Government, Benjamin Kumumanya, to review taxes levied on various informal sector business groups, including the taxis business.
Since the beginning of the year, the Local Government ministry has been engaging the taxi operators to agree to the proposed monthly fee of Shs160,000 levied on every commuter taxi.
The taxi operators have always protested, demanding that the fee should be reduced.
The ministry was planning to introduce the fees in June this year but because of the pressure from the taxis operators, it was dropped pending further negotiation.
Local Government minister Tom Butime said he will consult the cabinet and the President, among other stakeholders, on the matter.