HomeSocialWestern tax Operators disagree on the draft constitution to guide the national...

Western tax Operators disagree on the draft constitution to guide the national apex body.

Joshua Nahamya,

Mbarara.

Taxi operators in the western region have rejected to sign on the draft constitution proposed by the ministry of works and transport to amend the long-term challenges that have been affecting the tax industry in Uganda

This was on Tuesday when a team from the Ministry of Works and Transport met the leadership of tax owners, drivers, and conductors operating on Mbarara, Bushenyi, and ntungamo roads to consult them about the draft which was formed by the ministry to guide them on how to elect a new leadership representing them at the national level.

According to Winston Katushabe, the commissioner in charge of transport, regulation, and safety, the proposed national tax association is a presidential directive issued in 2018 as a result of some challenges affecting the tax industry.

“This meeting is a result of the earlier directive issued by the president that all tax operators must form one body enabling them have one voice, and be able to communicate properly with government so that they can be listened as a group in case they have any issue affecting the industry” Katushabe clarified

The president also directed the ministry of works to register all taxis and should have route charts valid for one year to sort out all issues in the tax industry.

Taxi Operators posing for a photo with the Commssioner for Works and Transport at Hotel Triangle in Mbarara. By Joshua Nahamya (1)

Katushabe added that the tax industry is also infiltrated with several factions mismanaging the tax operators’ savings which must be addressed by the drafted constitution.

“Findings show that there were many factions within the tax industry which led to fights and harassment. We also witnessed that there was also a lot of extortion of the operators’ money including the collected fees because of having improper leadership”. He emphasized

Katushabe, therefore, sensitized the tax operators to unite and form one body to address their issues in the tax industry.

“We are presenting you this draft and there are other teams moving to other regions in the country consulting your colleagues in the tax business so that we can approve the draft by next week. If you don’t unite and have one voice as taxi drivers, conductors and owners such that your issues can always be heard by government as a group” Katushabe explained

“We thought would have a legal frame wok (constitution), then guidelines and we also needed to consult widely the key stakeholders so that when these people go for voting, they can vote leaders of their choice” He added

Katushabe says the formation of the transport apex bodies will cross to buses and boda-bodas meant to revise the transport sector in Uganda.

“The constitution was drafted from Kampala so we are now consulting all regions in the country, we expect the views of all the key stakeholders to be incorporated in the draft and have a final validation. We’ve started with the tax industry but we are also moving to the boda-bodas to organise the transport industry” He said

The commissioner added that the formation of the tax operators’ association will give birth to the national SACCO which the government is willing to support.

“Tax operators in Mbarara gave us good incites of the draft and we shall go back to incorporate their views such that they can be able to hold their elections by next year and have an apex body to address their issues nationally that will include forming a SACCO,” Katushabe said

Beyagira Robert, Chairperson of South Western Union Tax Transporters Association (SWTODA) appealed to the ministry to grant them enough time before approving the draft constitution.

“We were notified on short notice yet we are leaders here to represent a number of our colleagues who have not attended which means we shall be grilled if we don’t get back to agree what to include in this constitution. It’s not just a matter of signing but we need to sign what all members in the tax industry have understood” Beyagira said

I also advocate for a change of some of the clauses in the draft constitution like five years terms of office to be dropped to list three years and any eligible taxi owner to be allowed to lead the association instead for a person to have at least 10 taxis as presented in the draft Beyagira advocated.

Also, Aaron Kwikiriza, the secretary of SWTODA welcomed the taxi constitution which will solve issues related to park conflicts.

“With this national umbrella it will be our hope to restore sanity and develop the taxi industry because all these associations have been mushrooming because of conflicts where people would have disagreements and register other different associations,” says Kwikiriza

Lt Col James Mwesigye, the Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Mbarara warned the ministry of works to consider all the regions for national representation to address issues that have been affecting the taxi industry.

“You have always favoured people from Kampala but this time we are also not going to accept. Like we are going to committees where you will find the chairman is from Kampala, treasurer Kampala, secretary Kampala why always Kampala? This time around we are not just by passers but we also need effective representation” Mwesigye emphasized

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments