Uganda’s Pioneer Bus has lately suffered a litigation claim which has led to the latest legislation to sign a fresh contract with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in lieu of nullifying the existing contract altogether.
The petition that led to the decision came from several districts in the Greater Kampala Area that queried the legal basis of the pact that saw Pioneer Bus, with its Easy Coach imprint, ply the city’s routes through a unilateral ‘side’ agreement with the council.
In coming up with the ruling for the signing of a fresh pact, the National Assembly said that the bus company must at least have a concession lasting between 25 to 30 years to ensure that it gains amortization returns on its capital.
Pioneer Easy Bus is a Ugandan mass transport firm that began operations in 2005, to cater for the populous city of Kampala by offering more than nine routes from within the commercial heart.
It operates around 25 to 30 kilometers in two major sides of the city, to the west and east.
In tandem with its vision to become the most prestigious bus company in the East African Community (EAC), Pioneer Bus also provides a ticketing system that it is developing on its online platform.
It was in 2010 that the firm made a concession with the then Kampala City Council to operate in the metropolitan area for half-a-decade, before a renewal of a similar duration in the initial term led to the general improvement of urban transportation welfare.
The heart of the dispute was the lack of proper dissemination of route plans that the claimants say was exclusive and arbitrary. In the earlier agreement, it is noteworthy that termini and routes are not under the city or government gazette.
Parliament observed that Mpigi district of Kampala has been at the center of the operational dispute but no data is available to show that the bus ever plied that district.
The government observed that Pioneer Bus has a debt close to Sh2B that it owes to the KCCA, after apparently having remitted Sh30m of the amount. This puts into focus one of the contentious issues in the disagreement which is the fact that the Council requested for Sh300000 monthly from the bus instead of the earlier stipulation that the company remit money to each district it operated in, directly.
Monetary fee numbers
*Ush300000 monthly fee to Council
*Outstanding balance nears 2B
*Already paid: USh30m
Buses in Uganda provide concession money for the upgrading of roads, improvement of the passengers’ lot, and provision of job chances for qualified personnel in the routes that they use.