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Taxi operators begin nationwide registration

All taxi operators will be registered nationwide under the umbrella body, the Federation of Uganda Taxi Operators (UTOF). This is to ensure that when they speak, they speak with a single voice.

Old taxi park, Kampala

The registration exercise is expected to run up to December, this year, and it will ensure both drivers and conductors will be registered, basing on their respective stages, where bio data is being captured from both categories.

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The UTOF chairperson Rashid Ssekandi says the registration exercise was always in plan, however, it was not possible previously due to the divisions in the sector, but now the time is opportune.

According to Ssekindi, this registration is an opportunity for them to streamline their business in order to prepare it for anticipated changes.

According to Ssekindi, this exercise will help in planning for the sector by giving the true strength of taxi operators countrywide. He adds that knowing their numbers will help determine their bargaining power with the government.

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“This program is not political,” Ssekindi explains. “Its intentions are for the good of the ordinary driver and conductor who are the pillars of this business, and also for the future of the industry.”

The registrant will require the registree’s NIN, residential details, and next of kin’s details.

The registration, which has kicked off in Kampala district, is being guided by Mustapha Mayambala, the UTOF vice chairperson in charge of administration. It is due to fan out to other districts.

According to Mayambala, the registration is to be conducted at every operator’s stage, vetted by park authorities and then forwarded to the UTOF head office for compilation.

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He says that, this being the first registration of its kind, its success or shortcomings will form a basis for the transformation of this industry in the country.

Government sponsored me and other people to South Africa and we observed how public transport operations are managed to the satisfaction of every player. We also learnt how the transition from small to mass transporters was handled, and everyone was satisfied,” Mayambala says.

After successful registration, an operator will be issued an identification card bearing their bio data among other information, and this will require a payment of 20,000 shillings.

Maymabala says; “The registration will help organise and cluster the operators, so that they can benefit from the different programs like Emyooga and the Parish Development Model, which they would miss due the disorganisation”.

Taxi operators have welcomed the exercise, viewing it as a stepping stone to the development of their business.

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