Office of the Lord Mayor
Lord Mayor’s Parlor
February 23, 2022
LORD MAYOR’S STATEMENT ON THE STATUS OF THE OLD TAXI PARK AND TAXI LEVY IN KAMPALA.
Deputy Lord Mayor,
Deputy Executive Director,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
THE STATUS OF THE OLD TAXI PARK
On the evening of Saturday February 19, 2022, we received incessant calls from the taxi operators in the Old Taxi Park to the effect that there was a ploy to phase out the recently gazetted stages in the same. They narrated that they had just engaged in a very bitter exchange with indistinct individuals who had attempted to forcefully relocate them. Luckily enough, those people were repulsed by the taxi operators and they fled the venue.
The same group returned in the wee hours of Sunday February 20, 2022 under the heavy protection of the Military, Uganda Police and the KCCA enforcement team and subsequently, four (04) plots of land were cordoned off including the main exist of the park which was totally blocked. This move affected a number of stages that included; Mengo, Mukono Coasters (Stage A & B), Ntinda, Luzira, Mbuya, Kawolo-Lugazi, Bweyogerere Jokas, Muyenga, Ggaba, Kansanga and Kiruddu among others.
After learning about this startling development, the Lord Mayor dispatched two members of Staff from his office on Sunday February 20, 2022 to verify this bizarre and mindboggling incident. The Lord Mayor also engaged with the line Executive Secretary Hon. Kizza Hakim Sawula who in turn reached out to the Executive Director Madam Dorothy Kisaka through a telephone call for an explanation. The Executive Director informed him that they were implementing what is contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Central Government and the self-professed tycoons. She added that the Uganda Taxi Operators Federation (UTOF) leadership together with the Taxi Park Management Committee were engaged and briefed about every development.
Following this development, the Lord Mayor and the City Executive Committee members engaged with the leadership of the taxi industry and it occurred to the City Executive Committee members that a number of meetings had been organized over the same matter by the Central Government. These included;
A meeting with the Minister of Transport and UTOF.
A meeting which was hosted at Rwakitura and attended by the Attorney General, Minister of Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs among others.
A meeting in the office of the Minister of Kampala which was attended by the Minister of Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, the State Minister of Kampala, the KCCA Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director, the Lawyers of the “Tycoons”, KCCA Surveyors and the UTOF leadership.
We learnt that all these processes resulted in execution of an MoU that has occasioned the current crisis.
Unfortunately, the members of the City Executive Committee aren’t privy to the MoU between the Central Government and the “Tycoons” which is being touted. We have demanded for the same through the City Executive Committee but all in vain.
Following the unceremonious reopening of the Old Taxi Park, we continued to demand for the report and details about the same, in the City Executive Committee of Monday January 10, 2022 the Executive Director informed us about the provisions in the MoU that provide for co-ownership between KCCA and the “Tycoons” whereby KCCA would retain the carpet and the "Tycoons" take the upper space. The City Executive Committee members registered their reservations about the practicability of that arrangement.
Madam Speaker and Hon. Members, all this information was contained in our report to Council which was presented by the Secretary for Physical Planning and Civil Works on September 30, 2021 and the Lord Mayor’s new year’s address. With your permission madam Speaker, allow me to pick excerpts from these reports;
“As you are aware Hon. Members, the position of the City Executive Committee and this Council on the reopening of the Old Taxi Park was very clear. In fact, our position was to reopen the same on 20th October 2021 as resolved by this Council. This resolution wasn’t implemented by the Technical team reasoning that there were legal impediments in form of a Court injunction.
Following the reopening of the Taxi Park, we received a report in the City Executive Committee on Monday January 10, 2022 to the effect that an MOU had been signed between Government and the tycoons to the effect that they will relinquish the carpet to KCCA and take the upper space.
We have reservations because we have arrangements under DASUDA to reconstruct that complex as an integral whole. Our view is that we should repossess those plots and the tycoons be given a refund of what they had earlier paid which after all is just peanuts.
In addition to that, Government should provide funds for KCCA to construct parks in all gateway towns of major roads to Kampala e.g Busega, Namungoona, Banda, Kawempe Kuttaano etc”
Madam Speaker and Hon. Members as per the record this report together with these recommendations were committed to the relevant Standing Committees of Council last year 2021 and we are concerned that up to now, final reports are yet to be submitted to Council by those relevant Committees.
Be it as it may Madam Speaker, the MoU is untenable at law given the illegalities associated with those subleases. For the record, Kampala City Council (KCC) as it then was, obtained a 99-year lease from the Kampala District Land Board on that piece of land for purposes of constructing a taxi park and that constituted part of the core covenants of the lease agreement effective the year 2000. The impugned subleases to these so called tycoons were executed in 2005 without permission from the now defunct Country and Town Planning Board for change of user as was required under the Town and Country Planning Act (now repealed).
In addition to that, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) laws that govern procurement and disposal of government assets were flagrantly flouted as there was no bidding process. Worse still, the statutory lease covenant in any lease over public land which requires the initial five-year period for commencement of development before grant of a full lease of 49 years was also breached. Reason whereof, these so called tycoons could not take possession of those plots for the last sixteen years.
For emphasis sake Madam Speaker, we would wish to produce before this Hon. Council the list of these “Tycoons” as follows;
Contractors & Transport Services Ltd
Abamwe Transporters Ltd
D.K.S Uganda Ltd
M/S Kagodo Farmers Ltd
City Oil (U) Ltd
City Oil (U) Ltd
Key & Ham Investments Ltd
Aponye Uganda Ltd
Lukyamuzi Investments Ltd
M/S Kabaale Distributors Ltd
Shumuk Industries Ltd
Giant Eagle Mobile Phones & Accessories Ltd
Kampala Capital City Authority
The total area of KCCA Plot = 0.949Ha
Total area of Plot Owners = 2.1Ha
Overall entire area of Plot = 3.01Ha
Madam Speaker and Hon. Members, we have just spent Ugx. 10,953,067,691/= (still waiting for the Audit Report from the Internal Audit Standing Committee of Council) and all this massive investment is at a very huge risk of being put to waste, thanks to the nefarious conduct of the purported tycoons and their accomplices.
We wish to reiterate that we are vigorously pursuing the DASUDA program of reconstructing that Taxi Park into a modern complex together with different stakeholders. DASUDA is the Alliance for Sustainable Urban Development in Africa and was established in 2012. It now consists of over 15 Companies and Institutes in the Netherlands and multiple local partners that participate in several projects in Africa particularly; Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana. The major aim is to achieve sustainable urban development in an integral way with local stakeholders and long lasting partners. If we make a mistake of allowing those “Tycoons” to proceed with their arrangements, this wonderful program will automatically abort.
Just to bring you up to speed, on February 09, 2022, together with the City Executive Committee, we met with the Chairperson of the National Physical Planning Board Dr. Amanda Ngabirano who is steering the Consultative Forum on reorganizing the transport sector in the City. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Rolf Paasch, the Resident Representative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Uganda and other FES Technical Staff. FES is currently funding this Forum which was previously facilitated by Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
While in a retreat at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel Entebbe to consider a number of Bills for Ordinances, the Consultants presented this program to us and we have scheduled a number of other engagements with them; this Council inclusive and the stakeholders are very much concerned about these interruptions.
2.0 THE TAXI LEVY
The issue of taxi levy has been a subject of a protracted and nasty battle between KCCA and the taxi operators for a decade now. At the inception of the institution, there was a practice of tendering services to UTODA. A five-year renewable contract would be granted and three hundred million shillings (Ugx.300,000,000/=) would be remitted to KCCA per month.
Following the endless public outcry by the taxi operators, when the UTODA contract expired, the then political leadership led by the Lord Mayor pushed for comprehensive reforms which sparked off a brawl between the then Executive Director, the Lord Mayor and UTODA and the contract was not renewed. We intervened and pushed for comprehensive/drastic reforms before any new steps would be taken.
The Lord Mayor came up with an idea of a Bill for an Ordinance to replace the archaic Local Governments (Kampala City) (Taxi Parks) Byelaws, Statutory Instrument No.77 of 1975 which is still in force under S.85(2) of the KCC Act 2010 as amended.
Paragraph 3 of the said instrument provides that; Every taxi shall enter a park through a controlled gate on payment of a fee of two shillings on every entry which payment shall be evidenced by the issue of a receipt by an officer of the council”
The Lord Mayor embarked on a consultative process of enacting the Bill for an Ordinance, the Kampala Capital City (Taxi Management) Ordinance, 2013 where a number of stakeholders including the taxi owners, drivers, conductors and passengers were consulted. In this Ordinance, the Lord Mayor proposed in the aforesaid Bill for an Ordinance a sum of Ugx.70,000/= as taxi levy per month.
In the wisdom of the then KCCA Executive Director, that was considered a laborious process and instead opted for a short cut where the Joint Standing Committee of Revenue and Internal Audit of Council hurriedly passed “recommendations” which spuriously morphed into resolutions.
Following the Committee’s recommendations, the then Executive Director issued a press statement on 8th March 2012 (International Women’s Day) under the heading “TAXI MANAGEMENT”, the release stated as follows: -
“At the meeting of the Committee (The Revenue and Internal Audit Joint Committee of Authority) held on 6th March 2012, it was agreed, in order to avoid further loss of revenue to KCCA and also guide the Authority that;
1. The fare to be paid be reduced from Ugx.155,000/= to Ugx.120,000/= per taxi per month.
2. The Ugx.120,000/= shall be paid directly to the banks indicated on the BPAF’s by the individuals owners/drivers.
3. The Stage Committee under the leadership of the Interim KCCA Taxi Management Committee will ensure that all the money due to KCCA be paid by the individual taxi owners/driver within 15 days from the start of every month.
4. All stages shall be managed by KCCA through its Interim KCCA Taxi Management Committee.
5. The Committee shall be responsible for all matters to do with the management of taxis including discipline, compliance to payment of KCCA dues and traffic flow”.
Within a period of one month of the aforesaid statement, the then KCCA Executive Director reported that they had collected Ugx.1,200,000,000/= even after reducing the amount to Ugx.120,000/-.
The aggrieved drivers successfully challenged the fees structure in the High Court vide Miscellaneous Cause No. 60/2012 and this is what the judge had to say;
“It is therefore quite evident that the levy of Ugx.120,000/= was subject to approval by the Authority of Council and that at the time of the press statement no such approval had been secured by the respondent (Kampala Capital City Authority).
There can be no justification of the imposition of this levy, on grounds that there was vacuum in the collection of Taxi park levy and the management of the taxi park following the court ruling of January 2012, in the case of UTODA VS. KCCA & THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KCCA MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE No. 137/2011.”
In its submissions to this court, the respondent’s Counsel concedes that the monthly charge was a mere recommendation, subject to approval by the Authority of Councilors led by the Lord Mayor.
It is conceded further by the respondent in their own submissions that,
“it is quite clear from the press release issued by the respondent that the amount of Ugx. 120,000/= is not based on a single provision of any law.”
I have also considered the internal memo from the Lord Mayor’s Parlor, addressed to the Executive Director of KCCA amongst other parties, that the Ugx. 120,000/= levy is illegal and not sanctioned by Parliament or the Authority. The note further states that, the Interim KCCA Taxi Management Committee appointed by the Revenue and Internal Audit Joint Committee is illegal and its decisions null and void.
Upon consideration of the submissions of both counsel, the affidavit evidence and the authorities provided, it is my finding that the Taxi Park tax levied by the respondent on All Taxi drivers, owners and operators within the City of Kampala, pursuant to the directive of the Press Release of 8th March 2012, was not sanctioned by law and is therefore unenforceable.
Accordingly, I grant an order of certiorari to quash the decision of the Revenue and Internal Audit Joint Committee of the Respondent made on the 6th day of March 2012 to the Public/Applicant by press statement of the Respondent dated the 8th day of March 2012.”
KCCA was dissatisfied with that High Court decision and resolved to pursue an appeal but the Court of Appeal upheld that same decision and further ordered for a refund of all that money that had been collected pursuant to the Executive Director’s press statement and Committee recommendations be refunded with interest. As matters stand today, we haven’t settled this decretal claim which, I gather, is over Ugx.50,000,000,000/=.
In 2015, the then Minister for Kampala Hon. Muruli Mukasa, issued a Statutory Instrument, the Kampala Capital City (Commercial Road Users) Regulations, 2015 wherein he fixed Commercial Road User Fees as below;
Regulation 4(2), 8(2)
Commercial Road User Fees
Category of Vehicle or Motor cycle
Monthly fee (UGX)
Quarterly fee (UGX)
Annual fee (UGX)
Motor Cycle (Commercial)
Taxi cab (1-4 seaters)
Pick-up trucks (up to 2.5 Tons)
Taxi cab (5-8 seaters)
Other Goods vehicle
Taxi/Van 9-18 seater
Bus or Coach 19-29 Seater
Bus or Coach 30-29 Seater & Above
Small Trucks (Above 2.5 Tons and less than 10 Tons)
Tippers & Big Trucks (‘Magulu Kumi’ & More)
However, that same instrument suffered the same fate as the then Executive Director’s press release which was based on the recommendations of the Joint Standing Committees of Council because under S.79 of the KCC Act, the Minister for Kampala has no powers to fix taxes for and on behalf of the Authority, the Minister only has supervisory and veto powers. It was also erroneous for the Minister, the Hon. Wilson Muruli Mukasa, whose jurisdiction was Kampala to determine road user fees for other districts where the taxis that originate from Kampala operate from.
In 2017, we learnt that a meeting was held in State House over these matters and the Minister and Executive Director capitulated to pressure that had been mounted at that time and accepted to bring down the fee from the earlier proposed Ugx.120,000/= to Ugx.62,000/= per month. That same meeting, which was also attended by the leaders of the various taxi associations within the taxi industry who happened to be in that meeting, resolved that the said levy of Ugx.62,000/= be computed and paid annually but in instalments. When the said resolutions were subsequently brought to our attention, we advised the Minster for Kampala that the fees had to have a legal framework and the formula on how the revenue would be disbursed to the different Local Government entities, among other things.
In the same year 2017, the Bill for an Ordinance, the Kampala Capital City (Taxi Management) was re-tabled before Council by the Lord Mayor and it was sent to the Legal Standing Committee of Council for further management. Unfortunately, it suffered a natural death at the Committee stage. Since then, KCCA has had no legal basis to collect that taxi levy up to the present day.
In a surprise twist of events, the Minister for Local Governments the Hon. Raphael Magyezi frantically arrogated himself powers of making a legal instrument to wit, “The Local Governments (Amendment of Fifth Schedule) Statutory Instrument, 2020 (Under section 175 (2) of the Local Government Act, Cap 243)” to purportedly guide taxis countrywide including Kampala which is outside his jurisdiction.
The instrument sought to introduce a legal framework and it reads in part;
1. There is charged an annual park user fee on every taxicab, light omnibus, medium omnibus or heavy omnibus licensed as a public service vehicle loading or offloading passengers within a district, urban authority or Kampala Capital City.
2. The park user fees in respect of each taxicab, light omnibus, medium omnibus or heavy omnibus shall be levied as follows: -
(a) a person operating a taxicab or light omnibus within more than one district, urban authority or within and outside Kampala Capital City shall pay eight hundred and forty thousand shillings (840,000/=) per year;
(b) a person operating a taxicab or light omnibus within one district, urban authority or within Kampala Capital City only shall pay seven hundred twenty thousand shillings (720,000/=) per year; or
(c) a person operating a medium omnibus or heavy omnibus shall pay two million four hundred thousand shillings (2,400,000/=) per year.”
The instrument also provides for the Collection of the Park User Fees under Paragraph 17C.
“The park user fees shall be collected by Uganda Revenue Authority and remitted to the Consolidated Fund.
1. For purposes of paying the park user fees, a person shall fill in a bank payment advice form to be provided by Uganda Revenue Authority or complete an online registration, assessment and payment on the Uganda Revenue Authority online platform.
2. A person paying the park user fees using a bank payment advice form provided by the Uganda Revenue Authority under sub regulation (2), to deposit the amount assessed in the Bank indicated on the payment advice form.
3. A person who has paid the park user fees under this regulation, shall retain the bank slip or receipt as proof of payment of the park user fees.
4. A person shall not be issued with a public service vehicle license issued under the Traffic and Road Safety Act unless he or she has proof of payment of the Park User Fees.”
The instrument further provides how the money will be disbursed/shared under Paragraph 17D.
“(1) In accordance with the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 the Accountant General shall allocate the park user fees paid in respect of each taxicab, light omnibus, medium omnibus or heavy omnibus to a district, urban authority or Kampala Capital City where it operates, on a Monthly basis.
(2) Where a taxicab, light omnibus, medium omnibus or heavy omnibus operates within more than one district, urban authority or within and outside Kampala Capital City, the Accountant General shall allocate the paid Park User Fees amongst the districts, Urban Authorities or Kampala Capital City Authority as follows-
(a) five hundred four thousand shillings (504,000/=) shall be allocated to a district, urban authority or Kampala Capital City Authority where a taxicab or light omnibus originates as indicated on the route chart;
(b) three hundred thirty-six thousand shillings (336,000/=) shall be allocated to a district, urban authority or Kampala Capital City Authority where a taxicab or light omnibus destinates as indicated on the route chart; or
(c) allocate equally the park user fees amongst the districts, urban authority or Kampala Capital City Authority on the route chart in case of medium omnibus or heavy omnibus.”
1. The conduct of the City “Tycoons” and their accomplices in invading and digging up the old taxi park is abhorable and all the transactions were rooted in illegalities and therefore should be condemned by any right thinking person.
2. The act of security agencies that guaranteed them security as they perpetrated these horrendous illegalities are equally culpable.
3. That KCCA Management acted in an unreasonable manner in allowing those city “tycoons” to proceed with the said illegal operations and cordoning off part of the taxi park without even having approved plans or a hoarding permit and also circumventing the City Executive Committee and Council.
4. The refusal or failure by the Central Government and KCCA Management to furnish the City Executive Committee and Council an MoU and other relevant documents appears to be malafide.
5. Under S.6A(a) & (b) and S.50 of the KCC Act as amended, the City Executive Committee observes that the Magyezi instrument is incurably defective. The Minister for Local Governments has no mandate whatsoever of making a Statutory Instrument for KCCA as well as determining taxation levels in Kampala Capital City. This authority is vested in this Council as clearly stipulated under S.6A read together with S.50 of the KCC Act. This is an egregious attempt by the Hon. Minister to usurp powers of this Council to set taxation levels and issuing Statutory Instruments outside his mandate.
6. Even if this instrument were to apply to Kampala, it particularly vests powers and the mandate to collect these levies in the Uganda Revenue Authority under Paragraph 17C(3) which is contrary to S.50 of the KCC Act. It equally baffles us to note that given the above instrument irregular as it maybe, our staff led by the Director Revenue Collection are in the taxi park to collect this revenue yet they aren’t staff of Uganda Revenue Authority.
7. Paragraph 17A of the Magyezi Instrument defines “a “park” as any public or private land or area gazetted and physically identified or planned by an urban authority within its territorial boundaries for the purpose of loading or offloading passengers.”
This in essence means that even private parking spaces are liable to pay yet those private parks are also collecting the same charge. The private parks in Kampala are very many including; Nateete, Busega-Mityana road, Busega-Masaka road, Kaasi and Ddembe in Bwaise among others.
8. KCCA is assuming the responsibility of collecting revenue for other Local Governments countrywide thus giving an impression that this is entirely a KCCA Revenue and responsibility.
9. The formula of sharing this revenue is unjust, vague and problematic as under Paragraph 17(D).
1. We reiterate our earlier position that KCCA should repossess those plots in the park. The Old Taxi Park Development Masterplan under the aegis of DASUDA should proceed and the entire Taxi Park land including the peripheral plots be redesigned and redeveloped into an integrated modern transport complex.
2. The KCCA enforcement team should pull down whatever structure that has been erected in the Park and barricades be removed by the so-called tycoons under the supervision of the military, Uganda police and the KCCA enforcement team and criminal proceedings be instituted for erecting such structures without approved plans and hoarding permits a well as the damage occasioned to the newly renovated carpet at the Old Taxi Park.
3. The team collecting illegal fees from the taxi operators should stop with immediate effect until an Ordinance for the same is in place.
4. Management should present a Bill for an Ordinance of the Kampala Capital City (Public Transport Management Ordinance) to guide the operations and other mechanisms to address these concerns as soon as possible but in any event not later than mid-March 2022.
5. The office of the Lord Mayor is going to write to the Minister for Local Governments reminding him of the confines of his docket/territory which is the Local Government and also, to bring to his attention the provisions of S.6A and S.50 of the KCC Act which vests the powers of levying and collecting this tax to this Council.
6. The KCCA Executive Director should present to the City Executive Committee a copy of the MoU between the Central Government and the “Tycoons” for scrutiny as soon as possible.
7. KCCA should have a round table discussion with the taxi operators to amicably settle the issue of the decretal sum as ordered by Court.
8. Government should provide funds for KCCA to construct parks in all gateway towns of trunk roads to Kampala City e.g Busega, Namungoona, Banda, Namungoona, Kawempe Kuttaano etc.
9. This Council should set a time frame within which the Internal Audit Standing Committee should produce a report on the accountability for the sum of Ugx.10,953,067,691/= spent on the renovation of the old taxi park as was assigned by this very Council.
10. The Physical Planning Committee and the Building Control Committee should not approve the “Tycoons’” plans since we have a master plan for redevelopment of the same which will be adversely affected by those “Tycoons’” plans.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY