The government is in a hyper-mode, moving to legislate and ban everything. From coffee to animals and now taxis. The government is set to introduce a new law that will ban individuals from directly owning public vehicles known as taxis.

In the new proposed Traffic and Road Safety Amendment Act, 2019, public service vehicles will not qualify for a license unless they belong to a company, registered association, partnership or savings and credit co-operative society. The new law, which is copied from Kenya seeks to streamline public transport.

The draft law empowers the works minister to set specific requirements for public vehicles to enter the transport sector. According to the amendments, the requirements will depend on management, financial capacity, size and quality of fleet.

“The minister may, in organizing public transport, require public transport providers to form companies, registered associations, partnerships, co-operatives or savings and credit cooperative societies in a manner prescribed by regulations in order to qualify for a license under this Act,” reads the Bill.

Once enacted into law, the public transport providers will be required to follow prescribed operational standards and have conditions under which a license may be canceled. The Bill also requires public transport providers to make special provisions for persons with disabilities. The bill also proposes a fine for one who exits the public transport business without notifying the minister.

Already, the bill has attracted criticism from the umbrella body of taxi drivers and operators in Kampala, who have said that the government did not consult them before enacting the bill. They also say that the proposed law wont work and it will end up crippling the economy.

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Ekyooto Uganda
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