By Waswa Tenywa
Uganda transport development agency (UTRADA) one of the bodies that unifies taxi operators in Uganda has refuted allegations by some people that they joined Kampala Operational Taxi Stages Association (KOTSA) clarifying that they only met the leaders of KOTSA as they went to meet the president Yoweri Museveni at Statehouse Entebbe where they went to iron out the many issues hurting taxi operators in Kampala and the country at large.
While meeting the taxi operators under UTRADA at its offices in Kampala, their chairperson Mustafa Mayambala said they can only allow KOTSA to merge into UTRADA and prepare free and fair elections which is bound to be conducted within two months as per the president’s directive while at statehouse.
‘’we cannot merge with KOTSA but we want them to come into UTRADA because we are the elected tax leaders and we only want them to help us join hands to plan for the tax leadership elections which the president directed us to prepare in 2 months time’’, said Mayambala.
Also as KOTSA continues to defy the president’s directive of annual fees, Uganda transport development agency members have appreciated the president for saving them from the much taxes they had been paying to KCCA and local government ministry before the president issued a directive.
According to Mayambala, tax operators and owners were paying 1.44 million shillings to Kampala Capital City Authority per year, 2 million shillings to local governments and adding up other charges they were in total paying 9 million shillings which he says was too much before the president came to their rescue.
‘’ We thank the president for this but the people opposing the new annual levies were working for KCCA to extort money from operators and now they are at a brink of losing jobs’’,said Mayambala.
The president directed that all taxi operators working within the 21 miles of Kampala pay shs720,000 and beyond the 21 miles to the country’s borders pay shs840.000 which up to now some are hesitant to accept.
To the issue of elections as one of the president’s directives, Mayambala appealed to the taxi stage leaders to mobilize their subjects and sensitize them about the issue of elections which the president also directed to be held within 2 months.
He said they are starting the registration of all taxi operators in Kampala and the country at large in the due course of election preparations.
Meanwhile some of the taxi stage leaders who attended the meeting applauded Mayambala for fighting for them and thanked the president for considering to save them from the heavy taxes.