Vehicle spare part dealers who spent millions of shillings investing in the purchase and distribution of speed governors are facing serious losses. Advanced Solutions, one of the major dealers in speed governors, is reportedly even considering closing shop, with the key investor, Ben Vorster, abandoning Uganda for a more promising market in Zambia.
Interest in the speed governor business began last year when Government announced the mandatory installation of speed governors in all public commuter vehicles. Many local and regional businesses rushed to obtain licenses from the Ministry of Works and Transport that would certify them as bona fide distributors.
However the failure to fully implement the speed governor regulations has dealt a major blow to the investors.
Joseph Oposia, Manager of Advanced Solutions, says his boss Ben Voster made a decision to leave Uganda for Zambia because the company only sold 10 speed governors since April. He says this was a sharp decline compared to the 6,850 speed governors sold between August 2006 and February this year.
//Cue in: iThe business of speed governors #i
Cue out: i# sold any speed governor.i//
Oposia says he was forced to lay off 28 of the 30 workers employed to install the speed governors. He says the only hope for recovery is if Government returns to the policy after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting later this year.
Advanced Solutions is not the only company suffering from government's laxity in enforcing the speed governor regulation.
James Gitonga, Managing Director of X-Speed, says he has laid off seven of his ten workers. He says it is unfortunate that after government convinced investors to join the trade, it failed to fully enforce the speed governor policy.
The traffic police department, which was in charge of enforcing the speed governor regulations, is unsure about a return to the policy. Asan Kasingye, the spokesperson for the Uganda Police Force, says the issue was over politicized and the police was forced to halt its implementation.