Masindi businesses and taxi operators call for new, modern taxi park

Masindi businesses and taxi operators call for new, modern taxi park
The dire state of Masindi Taxi Park has raised concern

Calls are mounting for Masindi municipality to prioritize the construction of a new, modern taxi park to address the numerous shortcomings of the existing one whose state of disrepair is causing concern and frustration among motorists, passengers, and business owners.

Located on the busy Masindi main street, the current taxi park suffers from dust, lack of lighting, inadequate passenger shelters, and poor sanitation facilities. This decline coincides with the removal of tendering fees in 2018, which, according to the Masindi taxi drivers Association chairman, Balungi Mustafa, led to the municipality neglecting the park's upkeep.

"Since the president scrapped the tender fees, the municipality abandoned the park completely," Mustafa said. "They used to get some money from the tender, and that would push them to care about the park. Now, no one cares."

Mustafa further accuses the municipal leaders of turning a blind eye to the emergence of unauthorized taxi stages around town, further marginalizing the official park. He suspects these informal stages benefit the municipality financially.

"Our business is being taken over by people with small cars... These cars never park inside the park; they just park outside," Mustafa explained. "We have made efforts to the municipal but they never help, I think they must be benefiting from these cars."

Abdallah Sserunkuuma, chairman of the Masindi business community, believes the solution lies in building a new park altogether. He argues that the current location is poorly planned and too small to accommodate the growing needs of the town.

"The Masindi park was poorly planned, and its current location is small," Sserunkuuma said. "The municipality needs to find land where they can build a modern park. I'm optimistic that once a modern park is put there, there will be more modernity, more revenues, and all that."

Despite acknowledging the park's issues, Masindi deputy mayor Betty Kyomuhendo downplayed the possibility of refurbishment, citing more pressing priorities like school infrastructure and healthcare facilities.

"We understand the park is in a sorry state, but for now we have no plans for the park," Kyomuhendo said. "We can't look at a park when we have schools that don't have classrooms... But also our roads are in a sorry state and this affects agriculture... We would rather prioritize working on our roads than a park."


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