KAMPALA – The proprietors of Pioneer Bus Company have criticized government for not honouring their contract and instead choosing to inject money into a new bus company.
Appearing before Parliament Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry on Tuesday, March 3, Mr Albert Muganga, a director of Pioneer Easy Bus, said that instead of government working to fulfill its contract terms such as having priority lanes for the buses, it has chosen to inject more money into a new company, Tondeka Bus Service.
The government has committed about Shs600b through Uganda Development Corporation for the Tondeka Bus Service.
Mr Muganga said while he is not opposed to another competitor, it is best that the private bus company looks for its own resources.
“They are coming to government to get money; we are saying create a conducive environment and we inject our money. You don’t need money from the government, you don’t have to fight anyone, just have an alternative means of transport and let the customers choose,” he said.
Mr Muganga also urged the government to first resolve outstanding issues that made Pioneer Bus project fail.
“A bus would do 300km a day, but today it does only 100km. Most of the time you are in traffic jam; all we need was priority lanes,” he said.
Currently, most of the 100 buses owned by Pioneer buses are not operational, meaning that the company has run iinto serious debts. Over 60 buses are grounded and parked at Namboole Stadium.
In Septer, the first batch of 400 Tondeka Buses will arrive in Uganda. Transaction advisors, Ortus Africa Limited say Tondeka Metro will begin operations in Greater Kampala Metropolitan area, within a distance of 25 kilometres on all major roads leaving the city.
Initially, on Masaka Road, the buses will travel as far as Nsangi, on Jinja Road as far as Mukono, on Mityana road as far as Buloba as well as Gayaza, Wakiso and Matugga on Bombo Road. Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) will provide funds to deliver the buses.
The Exim Bank of India is the lead financier for the multi-billion project, which will enjoy a sovereign guarantee from the government. The Bus service if all goes well, will also establish bus terminals at selected spots in the outskirts of the city.