Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) councilors have criticised President, Yoweri Museveni for rushing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with a consortium Chinese investors under “the Kampala Metropolitan Rapid Bus Transport project.”
Under the MOU signed at State House in Entebbe on Sunday in the presence of the Chinese ambassador, H.E. Zheng Zhugiang, the investors are expected to bring 400 buses.
“We should rationalize Kampala’s transport system. The Kampala Metropolitan Rapid Bus Transport project is a necessity. We should not continue to have so many cars with limited capacity,” Museveni said.
Adding that, “The investor will construct 26 rapid bus stations, 420 stage shelters and an initial 400 buses with a carting capacity of 74 passengers. I know that many people have invested in taxis and boda bodas. I have proposed to the investor that these be given chance to buy shares.”
Although Museveni promised to sit with taxi and boda boda operators to chat away forward for all parties, KCCA councilors say he should have consulted stakeholders before signing the agreement.
Kennedy Okello, the Nakawa II Councilor says mass transport is the way to go but says the president is doing things in a haphazard manner. He says bringing buses requires planning and consultations before signing a memorandum of understanding.
Doreen Nyanjura, the Makerere University Councilor, says what Museveni did is absurd because many taxi operators and boda – boda riders will lose income and become unemployed.
“As I councilor I will not support this project because I have not been consulted…the negotiation was done out of excitement and it should be halted.”
Burhan Byaruhanga, the Kyambogo University councilor, says the bus project is good in Kampala and should be supported by everyone including politicians and taxi operators.
Moses Okwera, the Nakawa I Councilor, says “It is not a good venture; the president should have consulted us before signing the memorandum of understanding with the Chinese investors. He should have consulted, what are the challenges of road transport? Of course it is traffic jam and then, how do we move together as a team. It is erroneous if you bring 400 buses without knowing where these taxis are going to be.”