New Vision (Kampala)

19 September 2007

Uganda: UTODA Contract Safe, Says Thembo

Kampala — THE Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association's (UTODA) contract is not going to be cancelled because it saves the Government money by providing unsubsidised public transport, Nyombi Thembo, the Luweero Triangle minister, has said.

Thembo said this during a radio talk show Simbawo akati on Radio Simba.

Every other city you go to in the world, governments have to subsidise public transport.

However, because UTODA commuters get transport from their doorsteps, it is not costing the tax payer anything."

"If UTODA has been late in paying to Kampala City Council (KCC), there are provisions within its tender agreement to rectify the situation. For those who want to take over, prepare to do so in 2011 when the contract expires," he said.

When asked to comment on local government minister's Kahinda Otafiire's statement advising KCC to cancel the contract and appoint another company, Nyombi, who had said he was talking on behalf of the Government as part of collective Cabinet responsibility, refused to be drawn into an argument.

"You know there have been instances of forged documents, so I can't talk about that," he said

Unlike Thembo, however, a UTODA public relations officer called Kateregga said Otafiire could not usurp KCC's authority.

Kateregga added that Otafiire should know there was an administrative review which allowed KCC to extend the contract without advertising it.

He said UTODA was not going to stop its work and had been there while city administrations had come and gone.

Other speakers said while Otafiire was right to advise KCC to cancel the tender, he would be taking sides if he named a particular company to replace UTODA.

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