Kampala — Only 31, 327 of the estimated 800,000 vehicles on Uganda's roads have been inspected for, among other things, suspension, transmission and exhaust functioning, according to a report by Parliament's Committee on Physical Infrastructure.
The minority report attributes this to the few inspection stations in place, that is in Namulanda in Wakiso District, another in Kawanda (Kampala) and the third in Mbale in eastern Uganda.
According to the report, few vehicles had as of August been inspected because of 'exorbitant cost of inspection'.
Currently, Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) charges Shs43, 000 to inspect each motorcycle and Shs93, 000 for a car and a dual purpose vehicle.
Its charge for a commuter vehicle that carries between seven and 20 passengers is Shs103, 000 and Shs50, 000 for one that carries between 20 and 60.
The charge for a goods vehicle that weigh less than 3.5 tonnes is Shs93, 400 and Shs125, 000 for one that weighs between 3.5 tonnes and 10 tonnes.
A goods vehicle of more than 10 tonnes is inspected for Shs50,000 whereas the charge for a trailer of two axles is Shs16,000.
The majority report recommended a review of the fees with a view of "slashing" them.
A reduction of the fees, it argued, will encourage more drivers to go for the inspection services.
The majority report did not suggest any specific fees, leaving it to the ministry and SGS.
However, the minority report said the inspection of vehicles should be done by the Uganda Police Force since it has a 'nationwide reach, presence of staff'.
Through a November 2017 report, which Parliament released on February 9, the majority of the members of the committee said the Works and Transport ministry should renegotiate the vehicle inspection contract.
Additionally, the committee recommended that in matters to do with vehicle inspection, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards the National Environment Management Authority and the Uganda Police should work together. That way, standards, air safety and enforcement will be addressed all at once.
The House is yet to debate the report and vote on the recommendations. Once it does and adopts the recommendations, motorists will wait for government implementation.
In March 2015, ministry of Works and Transport awarded SGS an exclusive contract to carry out vehicle inspections countrywide on its behalf. The inspection exercise is carried out to ensure vehicle road worthiness.