here is uncertainty about the reopening of the Old Taxi Park. In May 2020, Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA started renovations in the park and planned to complete the works in three months. However, to date, the park remains closed with works partially done.
By October 2021, substantial works that include laying the pavements and constructing the drainage system had been completed and KCCA planned to construct toilets, passenger sheds, demarcating stages among other issues before re-opening.
However, the KCCA Council resolved to open the park on October 20 as works continue, a decision that hit a snag after five companies that sued KCCA for trespassing on their land secured an interim injunction halting the re-opening.
The companies are; Lukyamuzi Investments Ltd owning 0.058 hectares, DKS Uganda Ltd (0.135 hectares), Key and Ham Investments Ltd (0.058 hectares), Abamwe Transporters Ltd (0.067 hectares), and Kabale Distributors Ltd (0.55 hectares) in the park where KCCA has renovated.
Late last year, the companies also secured a temporary injunction stopping KCCA or any of its agents from using the land until the matter is resolved in court.
Moses Birungi Mawejje, the Spokesperson of Kampala Operational Taxi Stages Association-KOTSA says that they have held several meetings with KCCA who have informed them that they are in talks with landowners.
Birungi hopes that the park will be re-opened before the end of the month to ease the movement of passengers especially at a time when the economy has opened and schools soon re-opening.
Gard Mugisha, the Chairman of Taxi Owners Association says it’s greed and self-interest which has delayed the re-opening of the park. He says that the land wrangle was resolved by President Museveni when he committed the government to compensate individuals and groups claiming land in the park.
A source who is privy to information says that KCCA is currently in talks with the five companies to compensate them such that taxis are allowed back to operate.
KCCA Deputy Spokesperson Robert Kalumba denied knowledge of any dialogue adding that they are currently finalizing a few administrative issues like establishment and marking stages and issuance of a route chart.
Kalumba says that KCCA is working with taxi operators and the Ministry of Works and Transport to organize stages in the park and issue route charts to all taxis. He says the park shall be opened soon but couldn’t commit to a date or timeline.
The companies say they acquired the land from the then Kampala City Council but KCC didn’t give them vacant possession of their land. In 2006, they went to court and in 2017, settled the matter through a consent judgment under which KCCA agreed to sublease the land. It was agreed that the plot owners would develop their plots into multilevel parking and commercial facility in accordance with designs and structural drawings approved by KCCA.
The companies represented by their lawyer Nasser Serunjoji told the court that in mid-2020, KCCA started renovating the park and in August, they realized that KCCA had encroached on part of their land. They asked KCCA to stop the encroachment and following several meetings, they entered a consent agreement with KCCA in December 2020 in which they agreed that KCCA shall grant them their plots after completing works on the carpet.
However, that the companies later learned that KCCA was planning to open the park on 20th October 2021 without granting them vacant possession of their land. They sought an interim injunction which the court granted. Later, a temporary injunction was issued and shall be in force until the case is determined, settled outside court or Court decides otherwise.