The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has backed the move by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to have a modern bus company to replace main traffic in the city.
The Speaker gave the greenlight to KCCA while meeting a delegation of officials from the Tondeka Metro Company on Thursday.
She said, was happy to learn that Tondeka Metro Company had engaged all relevant stakeholders especially the existing taxi drivers associations, saying that it was important for Kampala to have effective and efficient transport system.
“I am a very big supporter of local content, and am always hammering import substitution. I support this initiative,” Mr Kadaga said.
The Speaker said that after the collapse of the Uganda Transport Corporation, public transport fell in the hands of private operators who have failed to streamline the industry.
“This is a very good idea because the congestion is so sickening,” said Kadaga.
She however cautioned the company not to ignore the plight of those already employed in the public transport sector.
The company’s board chairman, Dr Peter Kimbowa, told the Speaker that Tondeka is a locally registered special purpose vehicle, owned by existing taxi and drivers associations alongside Uganda business entrepreneurs backed up by the Hindui group, the World’s third largest bus manufacturer.
The group convinced the speaker that there will be no conflict with local content since the Hindui Group, will establish synergies with Kiira Motors Corporation to produce subsequent fleets of the buses.
“We are business people, we don’t believe in conspiracies; we have engaged all taxi associations and all of them are shareholders of this company,” he said.
Mr Kimbowa, however, said that one of the taxi operators’ group was still drawn in a leadership crisis and is yet to fully enrol to the bus project.
“We have opened doors to anybody who wants to run under our service system,” he said.
The meeting was attended by taxi drivers and owners representatives; Mr Mustafah Mayambala of Uganda Transport Development Agency, Gad Mugisha of COTODA, Amanda Ngabirano Director of Tondeka, Ortus Africa’s Dorothy Kabugo as well as Mr Shibur Karia Hinduja groups representative in Uganda.
The Speaker had on Wednesday directed the House Committee on Trade and Industry to probe allegations that KCCA was procuring a foreign company to invest in the country’s public transport.
The motion had been moved by Fort Portal Municipality MP Alex Ruhunda who said that the project should be handed to a local assembling plant to supply the buses, and not Indian players.
The initiative intends to run five bus terminals, five depots and several park and ride facilities along major arteries of the 25km Tondeka operational radius.