Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is set to start collecting road user fees from passenger vehicles operating within its jurisdiction next month.
A statutory instrument by the Local Government minister last year shows that vehicles with a passenger capacity of 7-20 people operating in Kampala will have to pay Shs 720,000 annually.
Those with the same passenger capacity operating beyond KCCA’s jurisdiction will pay Shs 840,000 while those with a sitting capacity of between 21-60 passengers will pay Shs 2.4 million annually.
Cabinet reinstated the payment of road user fees following its suspension in 2017 by President Yoweri Museveni citing complaints by taxi operators about the exorbitant fees.
Following the partial lifting of the first lockdown in May 2020, KCCA registered all taxis and buses. The Works and Transport ministry issued the operators temporary route charts that expired in December last year.
The payment of the road user fees was supposed to start in January this year but was delayed because the Works ministry was still drawing permanent route charts for taxis and buses.
Samuel Sserunkuuma, the director in charge of revenue collection at KCCA, says that they are scheduled to start collecting the fees come next month.
He says that unlike in the past, working with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), they are currently configuring the system to allow partial payment following pleas from the operators.
“We had to go to the ministry of Local Government, which did the necessary changes in the law consequently the Uganda Revenue Authority also had to change its IT system to accept payments in instalments,” Sserunkuuma said.
He revealed that they are in the final stages of completing the configuration and expect the system to be ready by end of this month. According to Sserunkuuma, they have lost over Shs 60 billion over the years they haven’t been collecting the money.
Sserunkuuma, however, says unlike in the past when KCCA took the entire Shs 20 billion collected annually, this time around they will share the money with upcountry destinations where the vehicles originate from or commute too.
“This means we are going down from Shs 20 billion to between Shs 12 billion and Shs 14 billion per annum,” he said.
Some taxi operators have welcomed the move. Muhamad Wakabi, a taxi driver along Kampala Jinja road, said the move is good provided they allow them to operate freely.
“If they allow us to operate freely and if they can also reduce on the amount it will be very good,” he said. Adding that “Imagine being stopped afar and they take your money.”
Asuman Wasswa, another taxi driver along Entebbe road, said that they have no option but to pay the money. He says that they only had a problem with the lumpsum payment, which has been resolved.