Taxi touts are headed for tough times as the Kampala minister Minsa Kabanda announces a fresh crackdown.
Kabanda, the minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, has ordered all taxi and bus touts to vacate the city with immediate effect. Failure to do so will lead to arrest, jail or a fine of Uganda Shillings six million.
They will face a jail term of six months.
She issued the order while laying out new city guidelines that abolished bus and taxi staged which had mushroomed all over the city.
Kabanda said many brokers and touts had left the bus terminals and taxi parks to begin looking for passengers on the streets away from the designated transportation hubs.
“This is unacceptable and the trend should be reversed. Section 99 of the Traffic and Road Safety Act, 1998 as amended prohibits touting. The penalty for touting is a fine not exceeding 300 currency points (6 million) or to imprisonment for six months or both,” she said.
She pointed out that such people are fond of extorting passengers where by they charge passengers exorbitant transport fares and then take the passengers to buses who they pay less than half of the money taken from the passengers. At times, the passengers including children are abandoned after taking their money.
It is upon this background that she directed that all booking offices, kiosks and booking desks outside the gazetted parks be closed with immediate effect.
All buses and taxis should return to their designated terminals and parks for loading and off-loading. No bus or taxi should on the streets.
“All brokers should be removed from bus terminals, taxi parks and the streets with immediate effect. The police and KCCA should immediately start enforcing these measures,” she said.
The operation against touts started immediately and 30 were arrested from around Button street, Ben Kiwanuka street and Rashid Kamis road.
However, the touts who talked to this website on condition of anonymity vowed not to leave the streets despite the warning.