By Peter Ssebulime
Several Taxi operators under their umbrella body ‘Uganda Tansport Development Agency(UTRADA), in partnership with National Taxpayers Protection Organisation, and Commercial Taxi Owners and Transporters Development Association, have expressed their grievances over the ongoing massive Express Penalty Scheme fines by police and some commercial banks.
While addressing the media in Kampala, Chairman UTRADA Mustapha Mayambala said, that “We have been receiving several complaints from taxi operators countrywide who have been harassed and cheated through the old express penalty scheme fine tickets issued by police through reissuing the already paid up tickets, thus affecting our industry.”
He added that “Our investigations reveal that this fraudulent scheme is very well designed between the police and some commercial Banks like DTB, Equity Bank, and Bank of Africa with an intention to defraud the drivers and vehicle owners. For instance on June 30, 2018 while at Gayaza Masaka, a taxi registration number UBA 498Z which was driven by Remmy Munoga, was given penalty ticket serial number A177876 by a traffic police officer a one Nadunga, Force number 34132 W/CPL for the offence of using a vehicle operators’ license in breach of license issued under Code 8 of the EPS Regulations.”
However, on the same day June 30, 2018 the driver paid the ticket through Bank of Africa Masaka Branch receipt number 004140 payment Reg. No. 2180003968015.
However, on October 19, 2019, the above quoted passenger taxi UBA 498Z then driven by Ssensalo Godfrey was re-issued with the same penalty ticket serial number A1770876 by another traffic officer at Nateete police station, indicating that the ticket was not yet paid.”
Mayambala reveales that they have since vowed to petition the Office if the President through Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, to seek an for an order from the President to expeditiously suspend the reissuance of all old express penalty scheme tickets.
“We strongly believe that the ongoing mess in the EPS ticketing is a systematic plan which has several motives we suspect to be forgery/fraud, corruption, political and economic sabotage,” Mayambale said.
Meanwhile, some of the taxi drivers our reporter spoke to also appealed to concerned authorities to intervene and because of the unfair situations under which they operate.
“Having received complaints from the affected motorists, we UTRADA and, COTODA and NTAPO have decided to; petition Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, the head of the Anti Corruption Unit in State House, to liaise with the President to order for the suspension of the reissuance of tickets, so as to curb this massive corruption syndicate,” Mayambala noted.