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"Hooligans" Take Over Mbale Taxi Park-Municipal Councilor

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According to Naswagi, the group has been collecting revenue in the taxi park for a couple of months, which has impacted negatively on local revenue mobilisation. He explained that when the Municipality tried to kick the group from the Taxi Park, the Senior Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs, Moses Byaruhanga wrote to the Town Clerk to back off.
01 Oct 2018 07:43
Mbale Mayor, Mutwalibi Zandya Mafabi
“Hooligans” have taken control of Mbale Municipal Council Taxi Park, denying the municipality revenue, according to councilors. Aziz Naswagi, the South Central Ward Councilor, says Mbale Municipality contracted Equator Company to collect loading and offloading fees in Mbale Taxi Park for the 2018/2019 Financial year at Shillings 40 million each month.

He however, says some “hooligans” backed by highly placed people he doesn't name stormed the Taxi Park dressed in National Resistance Movement-NRM yellow party t-shirts and chased the contractor. “Hooligans from town imposed by the very guys I am talking of came and started beating up the people deployed to manage the taxi park and chased them away before starting to collect revenue,” he said.

According to Naswagi, the group has been collecting revenue in the taxi park for a couple of months, which has impacted negatively on local revenue mobilisation. He explained that when the Municipality tried to kick the group from the Taxi Park, the Senior Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs, Moses Byaruhanga wrote to the Town Clerk to back off.

He also claimed that the group presented a letter from Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Asset's Authority-PPDA purportedly directing the termination of the contract of Equator Company. “We are now requesting kindly the Inspectorate of Government and Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Asset's Authority-PPDA to investigate who is collecting the money and where the receipts are from,” he said.

Naswagi raised the complaints during a board road session held at Mbale municipal council chambers on Friday involving a team officers from the Inspectorate of Government led by the Deputy Inspector General of Government, George Bamugemereire, Office of the Auditor General, PPDA and Justice , Law and Order Sector as part of this year's anti-corruption campaign.

In his response to the complaint, Ronald Tumuhaire Ngobi, an Officer from Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Asset's Authority, denied claims that the authority had ordered the cancellation of the contract. He explained that PPDA only directed the municipality to act within the law.

The Deputy Inspector General of Government, George Bamugemereire promised to follow up on the matter.  However, in an earlier interview with URN some of the drivers in the taxi park said they were still waiting for the president's directive before they pay any money to council. 

In April this year, President Yoweri Museveni issued a directive indicating that Taxis plying Kampala roads or operating within 21 kilometers from Kampala will pay Shillings 720,000 while those operating long distances on upcountry routes will be paying Shillings 840,000 per year.