UTODA’s 200 Buses Spell Doom For Pioneer


capsule geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>The buses were made public at a function held at Tata Motors’ offices along the Lugogo bypass in Kampala on Monday morning.

visit this site geneva;”>The Minister of state for Public Transport, Mr Stephen Chebrot attended.

The introduction of the buses could spell doom for Pioneer Easy Bus Company whose buses were impounded by Uganda Revenue Authority a few months ago for defaulting on shs8bn import tax.

Chimp Corps say Pioneer Easy buses are still stranded in the parking yard of Mandela National Stadium (Namboole) in Bweyogerere, Wakiso District.

The new buses, which have a 40 to 60 passenger capacity, were reportedly procured under Awakula Ennume Co-operative Society, a new “co-operative society that is taking up a new role to provide better services in the transportation sector.”

The organization says it intends to “serve a purpose of providing cheap and safe transport with over 240 buses in Kampala.”

Kampala has for years been grappling with traffic congestion, leading to air pollution and heavy traffic jam especially during peak hours.

The Pioneer Easy Buses had helped to reduce the traffic only to be kicked out for reneging on its tax commitments.

URA intended to auction the buses.

But President Yoweri Museveni in May supported a proposal by the Ministry of Transport to halt the auctioning of the Buses and instead find ways of encouraging bus transport in the city as a way of decongesting it.

“Why tax them in the first place? There is a problem with the government tax policy. If government wants to decongest the city, isn’t it in public interest that people import buses tax free,” he said.

The President was addressing stakeholders in the transport sector in the city including KCCA led by the Minister for Security Muruli Mukasa and KCCA executive director Jennifer Musisi.

The meeting was also attended by Directors of the Pioneer Easy Bus Company including John Masanda, Albert Muganga, Esther Tayebwa and Oliver Wolff a German Transport consultant.

The company started its operations along Kampala roads in March 2012 having taken advantage of a strike by taxi operators in protest of the 120,000 monthly collections by the KCCA.

The President said the auctioning must be halted and the company allowed to pay the tax arrears in affordable installments and also proposed a possibility of cancelling the debt as long as the company complies with the bus specifications for the city.

He said the Ministry of Transport would handle the issue of jurisdiction of the buses into other local governments in the neighbouring districts outside KCCA.

“Don’t auction the buses, give them time to pay the taxes.”

The tax law on buses and trucks is governed by EAC law regimes and Uganda will need to seek exemption of taxes on buses from Arusha especially if none of the neighbouring countries can supply the specifications of buses needed in Uganda.

The President said the buses are trying to solve the issue of congestion in the city by providing vehicles with wider bodies without many engines.

“We should not look at this as a tax measure rather as helping us solve a problem,” he said.

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