The park usage fees collected by the Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA, according to City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, are illegal.
Lukwago claimed there is no law or ordinance that specifies the fees payable by passenger cars, including taxis, during a council meeting on Wednesday at City Hall.
After taxi operators protested about high rates, President Museveni halted them in 2017. In 2020, the cabinet decided to resume the levies that President Museveni had banned in 2017. Every month, they were paying 120,000 Shillings.
Raphael Magyezi, the Minister for Local Government, then issued a statutory instrument stating that vehicles carrying seven to twenty passengers, including taxis, would be required to pay 720,000 Shillings per year. This would apply to cars that operate within the authority of the KCCA.
Vehicles with the same capacity but operating outside of KCCA jurisdiction would be charged an annual price of 840,000 Shillings, while those with seating capacity ranging from 21 to over sixty would be charged a 2.4 million Shillings annual fee.
However, according to Lukwago, the Minister for Local Government does not represent Kampala because Kampala is not a municipality. If the KCCA is to employ a statutory document, he believes it should be issued by Kampala’s Ministers rather than their local government counterparts.
Sam Serunkuma, the KCCA’s Director of Revenue Collection, recently stated that they had earned roughly 5 million Shillings so far from the over 12,000 taxis registered in 2020.
The KCCA is entitled to 60% of the money collected from taxis that go outside of Kampala and the Metropolitan regions, with the remainder going to the other Local Governments from whence the taxis depart. According to Serunkuma, the KCCA will begin enforcing the fees at the end of March, and defaulters’ vehicles would be impounded.
Even having the Uganda Revenue Authority-URA collect cash meant to be local revenue for the Authority and having the KCCA carry the cost of authorizing taxi fees outside of Kampala, according to Lukwago, is irregular.
Park user fees are expected to bring in eight billion Shillings per year for the KCCA. Eng. David Luyimbazi, Deputy Director of the KCCA, told the council that if they stopped collecting money from taxis, it would not be enough.
The KCCA speaker had called the meeting to discuss the taxi operators’ acquisition of land in the Old Taxi Park. The council issued a resolution demanding that KCCA reclaim the contested lands and that technical leaders take note.