Thursday, November 15, 2012


Of recent, regarding public transport, it is Pioneer Buses that have and continue to feature. This may be seen from two perceptiveness. There are those people in Uganda who up to their death will never be patriotic, they are in to take any opportunity to exploit the masses. These are among those who want Pioneer Buses to close stop. I was fortunate to see buses at least when I was set to go for my Secondary education in 1974, and I was a proud user of the buses, what I remember, they were from Yugoslavia, these were a class above. The ride from Mityana to Kampala remained memorable. With time, we had the Leyland Buses for UTC and Uganda People's Company. These buses helped many poor people. When NRM came to power, the public transport collapsed. Where Government had a hand, private operators took control, and what did we see, the likes of UTODA doubling as transporters and Government operatives to the extent that they took on the security role among others! What Government has to accept is that while statistics show that Ugandans may be better off, there are many competing wants to which the alleged better income goes to, and more so the currency constantly depreciates. What is important is that people are able to travel. It is unfortunate the way taxi operators have treated Ugandans to the extent that some politician could phase them out by giving concessions to operators who can have ethics in doing business. It is not uncommon to get at the road and a taxi conductor has either added shs 500 or 1,000 or even doubled the fare, simply because of any excuse that he may have at hand , among which may include very big demand for the service at that moment i time or a traffic jam which is to reduce the number of routes he would make. I on behalf of the people of Uganda who use the public facility for transport wish that Government enters into a Memorandum of Understanding with Pioneer Bus Company, and any serious operator who has capacity of getting a fleet of buses to ease traffic congestion, reduce fares payable by users, meet safety standards and reliability. The Memorandum of Understanding should not see Government or even the Local Governments where these get people as beneficiaries of revenue. The objectives among others should be: 1. To see that relatively cheap transport is availed to people to move to various destinations, 2. That the shareholders have capacity to order for more buses to see that the problem countrywide is addressed, 3. That in the procurement of buses, traffic jams will greatly be reduced as buses will control the city and immediate suburbs, given that jams are costing the country viable investment, 4. The Memorandum of Understanding should clearly state the role of Government in monitoring and overseeing the operations of these buses, to ensure that funds realized are not embezzled, such that the buses are able to generate funds to pay for the loans used in acquiring them, 5. That the supervision ensures that the buses are well maintained so that they keep on the road, 6. Ensure that staff who work in the buses are well paid and generally motivated to give a credible service. The people of Uganda are now convinced that when Government is serious, it can identify people of repute like is the case of Jennifer Musisi who have work ethics and can see systems work. I pray that the public transport is given a boost by the commitment of Government as well as the oversight roles so that those who bring the buses do meaningful administration of the buses sustainably and not exploit the people using them. William Kituuka Kiwanuka

No comments:

Post a Comment