Government is proposing to introduce tough measures to streamline public transport within Kampala city when the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted .
Impeccable sources told this publication that through the ministry of Kampala government is proposing to have all the estimated 200,000 boda-bodas operate under digital companies with Smartphone applications , have special designated stages and not be allowed in some sections of the city .
According to the sources , boda-boda stages within the city will be reduced from the current estimated 1,400 to 970 thus phasing out over 400 stages.. There will be boda-boda and taxis free zones in the city and all taxis shall be required to under go fresh registration by both the ministry of Kampala and Works and Transport .
The new measures are intended to improve the hitherto chaotic public transport system within Kampala . The proposed measures will have to be approved by cabinet .
Urban planning experts had previously called upon both Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) working together with the Central government to restore order to what has become a chaotic public transport network in the Central Business District (CBD) and the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA).
In his address to the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) E- Conference on Monday, President Yoweri Museveni ephasised the need for government to prioritise the post Covid-19 interventions to boost the economy by supporting key nine key sectors including including transport with local manufaturers like Kiira Motors Corporation Ltd, taking the lead.
” With Shs.400billion, this industry can take off-i.e the transport vehicles industry . any new borrowing , if at all, must not be in order to support more imprting by Uganda, clothed as ‘balance of payments support’. Balance of payments support must include developing my suppressed potential to be competitive in terms of import -substitution and export- promotion, not to just re-inforce my imports-depeddency and my indebtedness”, President Museveni reasoned.
The government owned Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) has produced two validation executive 12 meter Kayoola electric buses at the UPDF’s Luwero Industries in Nakasongola and have since been deployed to provide shuttle services for dignitaries that attended the European Union Business Summit in Kampala recently. The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga is one of the many government diginitories who have also taken a ride on the brand new Kayoola electric buses with KMC clearly demonstrating Uganda’s capacity and capabilities to produce and deploy on its roads electric and fuel efficient combustion engine buses .
The Minister of Science Technology and Innovation Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye and the KMC management led by Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa have revealed that Kiira Motors now has the capacity to produce locally up to eight electric buses in a month. Government should commit to roll out some of these buses to sort out the mess that Kampala has come to be known for.
Moreover , motor vehicles importation is ranked the second highest valued call on Uganda’s foreign exchange bill at 450Million US dollars, the first being petroleum products. Thats why Presdient Museveni has stressed that government’s import substitution should be focused to the development of interalia-Uganda’s automotive industry.
These interventions will stave off the country’s foreign exchange hemorrhage through importation of used vehicles and create many job opportunities across the automotive industry value chain.
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