What you need to know:
- The reopening has been postponed several times due to a disagreement between KCCA and some private developments.
Hopes of reopening of the Old Taxi Park for taxi operators are fading after owners of the biggest part of it secured a court order halting activities of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) there.
KCCA had planned to reopen the park yesterday but they cancelled the activity.
City councillors yesterday attempted to forcibly visit the park and reopen it, but they were blocked by the police who arrested three of them.
But their transportation ended in a tragic incident in which a police constable, Mr Denis Kambugu from the Field Force Police was seriously injured.
The police bought a truck, which they use for detaining those arrested but its door lock couldn’t lock properly. Police officers spent minutes fidgeting with the door, which put the suspects at a risk of falling off or giving them a chance to escape.
Later, the officers were able to fix the door.
Constable Kambugu jumped at the back of the police detention van as he held onto the door thinking that it had fastened properly. When the driver made a speedy swerve at a bend, the suspect’s door opened wide and the officer lost his grip. He fell violently on the tarmac and lost consciousness.
His colleagues ran to attend to him. Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said the officer is receiving treatment in hospital.
“The councillors; Moses Kataabu, Faridah Nakabugo and Mulusini Kakande, were arrested on offences of incitement to violence. We are also investigating allegations that one of the suspects unlocked the door when the police van was being driven,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
Minister speaks out
Mr Kabuye Kyofatogabye, the minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, pushed the reopening of the Old Taxi Park for another three months.
Mr Kyofatogabye, like KCCA officials, attribute the delayed reopening to toilets and CCTVs that haven’t yet been installed.
He said the taxi operators should continue to operate where they are right now until all the issues have been ironed out.
Currently, neither the city authorities nor the developers occupy the park due to the legal and political stalemate.
The developers have a court order that give them powers to redevelop their plots, but KCCA, which sub-leased the plots, too was given powers to determine the type of developments to be set up in the area.
KCCA entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the business people who own subleases in the Old Taxi Park, indicating that their plots would be handed over after the refurbishment of the area. But the developers say the city authorities have not respected the MoU.
A representative of the developers, Mr Ronnie Rwigyema, said the refurbishment of the park was completed, but KCCA has refused to hand over the plots to them.
The developers, who own a big fraction of the land on which the park sits, include; Abamwe Transporters Ltd, which owns plots 21-23 measuring 0.067 hectares on Burton Street and Kabale Distributors Ltd, which owns plots 27-29 measuring 0.55 hectares on Ben Kiwanuka Street. Others are Contractors & Transport Services Limited, D.K.S Uganda Limited, Key & Ham Investments LTD, Aponye Uganda Limited, Lukyamuzi Investments Limited, City Oil (U) Ltd, Shumuk Industries Ltd and The Giant Eagle Mobile Phones & Accessories Ltd. Eight of those companies own 0.501 hectares (1.24 acres) of the Old Taxi Park, which covers 3.53 acres. The developers got the sub-leases in 2006.