Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is now controlling both the Old and New Taxi Parks after High Court in Kampala ruled on grounds that the case was erroneously filed as an application for judiciary review.

On Tuesday morning KCCA officials and the Police took charge of all the parks in the city centre and its suburbs.

The situation in the Old taxi park, Nakawa and the New Park was calm as KCCA officials issued reciepts and collected money.

Court ruled that technically, UTODA should have filed an ordinary suit to establish the validity of UTODA’s contract.

Court in Kampala dismissed a case filed by the Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) over the management of the parks.

Judicial review is conducted by the High Court in relation to proceedings plus decisions taken by persons, subordinate courts and inferior tribunals or bodies.

Court also ruled that UTODA did not clearly spell out its rights over the contract, which allegedly expired on October 30, 2011, when it dragged KCCA to court.

The parties appeared before Justice Eldad Mwangushya, in a fully packed courtroom, consisting of taxi drivers and conductors.

The case arose after KCCA executive director Jennifer Musisi in her memo of October 18, 2011, said UTODA’s contract was expiring on October 31, 2011.

Musisi also declared in the memo that KCCA would take over management of the dilapidated taxi parks from November 1, 2011.

“The case is beyond judicial review and what is to be determined is whether they (UTODA) have a contract or not,” Mwangushya said.

The court also observed that UTODA petitioned court, yet they had been invited for a meeting by KCCA. Mwangushya stated that UTODA was pre-empting the authority on what was to be discussed in the meeting.

In July, UTODA bosses snubbed a meeting with Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago who maintained that they had no running contract with KCCA.

UTODA also declined to produce a memorandum and articles of association, annual returns filed with the registrar of companies and the structure of taxi fares levied.

Court yesterday also ordered UTODA to pay KCCA costs for the case. KCCA was represented by Caleb Mugisha and Robert Kwanza While UTODA was represented by Abbas Bukenya.

UTODA has been managing the taxi parks since 1993 when it signed its first contract with the then Kampala City Council.

Its contract was due to expire on October 31, 2010, but was extended to October 31, 2011.

However, UTODA argued that its contract was to remain in force up to October 31, 2014.

According to the terms of the contract extension, UTODA was to pay sh392m monthly to KCCA, up from sh290m.

However, UTODA has persistently been in arrears. A section of the taxi drivers have also complained that they have been subjected to excessive charges by UTODA.

The two taxi parks are in a sorry state. Almost all the tarmac has been eaten away and they have become very muddy whenever it rains.

By Juliet Waiswa, The New Vision

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