Legislators sitting on the Parliamentary committee on Public Service and Local Government want the activities of the Pioneer Easy bus stopped, saying the company is operating illegally.
The company’s contract expired in October last year. After signing it in October 2010 with the promise of commencing work four months after the signing.
According to Mike Okua, the Kampala Capital City Authority legal director, the contract was supposed to be reviewed within one year before being extended for another five years. Within the first year, the bus company was expected to have brought 100 buses within the first four months of signing the contract. The company was also expected to have achieved its full capacity within nine months. This, according to Okua, is already a breach of the contract.
The date of singing the contract is also in question. The actual date remains unknown even to the current leadership of KCCA. Documents presented by the KCCA Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi, show two dates. One shows that the contract was signed in May 2010 while another shows that it was signed in October of the same year.
Fred Senoga, the Managing Director of Pioneer Easy Bus reportedly signed on behalf of the company but it is still unclear who signed on behalf of the then Kampala City Council—KCC.
Musisi notes that to date, the company has not been operational and the only activity is technical work. They have erected bus stops in various parts of the city and are embarking on mapping bus lanes within the city.
Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago is caught in between since he does not know which direction to take. He says it is premature for the bus company to begin work without proper fares supposed be drawn by the KCCA council. He is quick to state that the buses are welcome but the procedures are not laid out.
Cue in: It has got lots of contradiction….
Cue out:…..lawfull transactions.//
Now MPs are seeking to halt the process of launching the service in Kampala and its outskirts.
Raphael Magyezi, Igara West MP and his Mukono Municipality counterpart, Betty Nambooze, say there is no need for the bus company to continue without proper procedures. They propose to have the bus system halted pending investigations by parliament.
But their idea was opposed by Grace Namara, the Lyantonde woman MP, who cautioned her colleagues that government may be at fault for failing to honour its contract. Giving an example of the illegal compensations to City businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba on the city markets, Namara urged the MPs to first investigate before halting the deal.
Kalungu woman MP Florence Kintu, who is the committee chairperson, ruled that the MPs will have to meet all the parties concerned before passing a concrete decision on the same.
So far 60 buses of Pioneer Easy Bus have been cleared and they will start operating at the beginning of March. The buses will operate in the Kampala’s eastern parts of Mukono, Luzira, Bweyogerere, Ntinda, Mulago, Nakawa, Namugongo and western routes of Nateete and Rubaga.
The company has invested over Shs 23 billion in a fleet of 522 buses that will operate in the Kampala District. Pioneer Easy Bus is a transport company that was established in 2005.