By JOREEN NABUTTO
KAMPALA- At least 8,500 taxis will not be able to operate in Kampala as they have not yet been registered and cleared by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Ministry of Works and Transport.
To operate in the city, the taxis must be registered with KCCA and be issued a route chart by the Ministry of Works and Transport.
Ms Betty Amongi, the Minister for Kampala, yesterday said of the 13,000 taxis captured in the KCCA system, 7,340 taxis had been registered by Monday and only 4,500 had been issued route charts.
“May be they are still looking for money or have decided to find another district to operate in,” Ms Amongi said.
The minister said some of taxis had not been issued route charts because of expired or forged public service vehicle (PSV) and driving licences or have failed t meet other vital requirements.
“There are two registration centres in the same place. You start with KCCA where you register the number plate, you choose the route and then you give your log book, national identity card for both the owner and driver. Once you have concluded that, you give your PSV licence, then driver’s licence and third party insurance,” Ms Amongi explained.
Once the process with KCCA is complete, one is issued a letter with route chart to proceed to Ministry of Works and Transport for validation.
“Ministry of Transport validates whether the PSV or third party insurance and the driving licence are genuine and not expired, but many people get disqualified at that stage,” Ms Amongi said.
Because of this registration process, many travellers, especially those going upcountry, have been stranded since the ban on public transport was lifted last week as only few taxis are operating. This has seen government give transporters without the requirements a grace period up to Friday to be able to transport travellers upcountry, according to Gen Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport.
“We have agreed with my fellow Minister for Kampala that we extend the period for those who have not yet fulfilled all the requirements to do upcountry trips up until Friday,” Gen Wamala said.
However, KCC revealed that there is no deadline for registration although the process that is currently hosted in two city schools will stop at the end of this month. “We used the schools since it was the beginning of the exercise, but we will continue with the process in our offices,” Ms Amongi said.
But some of the taxi operators criticized the process as slow and has continued to keep them out of business.
Meanwhile, Gen Wamala has asked transport operators not to hike the fares as the rest of the public has equally suffered during the lockdown.