18 January 2013

Uganda: KCCA Voices Action On Illegal Washing Bays

Kampala — Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is to crack down on all illegal washing bays in the centre business district (CBD).

Washing bays have become a lucrative business in the city centre but many are not legal establishments, according to KCCA spokesperson Peter Kaujju.

"Kampala is a place for washing bays. But, most of them are illegal. These days, someone finds an empty space on a piece of land, and a washing bay is set up yet KCCA has not registered or licensed it," he said.

Kaujju explained that the crackdown on illegal washing bays comes after several complaints from the public on theft of their vehicles and properties at some washing bays in the city.

Most washing bays start off basically as car washing points. But in a bid to maximize profits, bay owners open up bars, restaurants and day-and-night parking lots as separate businesses in the same space.

At some of the washing bays visited by the New Vision it was found that for those looking for an extended lunch break, haircut, or even a car to buy, you can do so as your car is being washed.

Although they close early - by Kampala standards - some washing bays act as mini drinking joints.

Car washing rates vary from place to place and depending on which part of the car is to be cleaned.

The car body alone, engine wash, vacuum cleaning, seats alone or a thorough valet service each command different rates ranging from sh5,000 to sh50,000 or more, depending on the size of the vehicle and the amount of dirt.

Kaujju says that if found, KCCA will have no choice but to close down illegal car-washing spots.

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