Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has insisted that taxis should pay Uganda shillings 120,000 as monthly fees.
This would bring the annual fees to Uganda shillings 1.44 million.
KCCA Director for Revenue, Fred Andema, told this publication today that they have asked President Yoweri Museveni to reverse a directive he made last year.
In a November meeting at State House Entebbe, President Museveni ordered a reduction of Kampala commuter taxis fees from 1.44 million to 700,000 Uganda shillings and capped the fees of commuter taxis operating outside Kampala at 500,000 Uganda shillings. It’s agreed that this fee be paid once a year. This directive was supposed to be effected starting January 1, 2018.
The Uganda shilling 120,000 per month and Uganda shilling 1.4 million annually that KCCA insists taxis should pay is what they had been paying before President Museveni ordered that it should be slashed.
Andema says KCCA carried out a study on the cost of operating costs of a taxi in Kampala. He says the study focused on how much would a taxi earn in Kampala and costs incurred including illegal fees paid to taxi touts.
For instance, Andema says a taxi that comes from Namugongo to the city centre daily making four trips earns 1.2 million Shillings per month after deducting all expenses such as fuel, taxi maintenance, drivers’ salary and fees paid to taxi touts. A person who earns 1.2 million per month, Andema says, should be willing to pay 120,000 Shillings per month as fees.
Andema says KCCA defended retaining Uganda Shillings 120,000 in subsequent meetings with the president and taxi operators. He says taxi operators and owners should be cognisant that KCCA need funds to better the city for their use.
Andema further revealed that taxi operators pay about Uganda Shillings 300,000 per month to taxi touts. He described the fee paid to touts as an illegal fee and not part of official operating costs. If taxi operators can pay taxi touts over 300,000, they should be willing to pay the fee that KCCA is demanding.
Andema says KCCA has about 18,000 taxis in records but only between 10,000 and 11,000 active taxis are operating in Kampala. He argues that most taxis operate in Kampala for one or two years and then shift to other towns.
Since the start of this financial year, KCCA has collected only 2.6 billion Shillings out of the 19.5 billion the city authority had projected to collect by end of March.
Mustapha Mayambala, the chairperson of Uganda Transporters Development Agency (UTRADA), told this publication recently that they asked President Museveni to reject KCCA’s demand that the old fee should be retained.