Uganda Revenue Authority-URA has temporarily halted its operations targeting Kenyan registered motorcycles operating in the Eastern Uganda border districts.
The tax body launched the operation early this month to impound the illegal motorcycles in Busia and Malaba in Tororo. The operation was meant to extend to Lwakhakha in Namisindwa and Amudat among other districts among others.
According to URA, there are over 2,000 Kenyan registered motorcycles operating illegally in Busia district alone. However, the Duncan Kakonge, the URA Manager in-charge Eastern region, says they have decided to halt the operation following complaints from local leaders and a public decry against the enforcement in the region.
He says they have agreed with the leaders to temporarily halt the operation for a period of 3 months to continue sensitizing the riders. According to Kakonge, they will continue with the enforcement after the three months without any compromise until they get rid of the illegal motorcycles.
He says the owners of the impounded motorcycles will need clearance from the tax body to get them back to operate in the area. John Ouma, the Defense Secretary Busia Joint Motorcycle Boda-boda riders Association has applauded the suspension of the operation, saying it had affected their business.
Bernard Ojambo, another Boda-boda rider wants the Tax body to give them a grace period of at least six months, saying the three months is too little for them to register the motorbikes.
George Byansi, the Chairperson Busia Municipality Motorcycle Boda-boda Rider’s Association, says they want at least 8 months to legalize over 8,000 Kenyan registered motorcycles operating in the area.
Many riders in Busia and Malaba opt to buy and register their motorcycles in Kenyan where they are relatively cheaper. A motorcycle in Kenya costs 3.5 million Shillings compared to 4.85 million Shillings in Uganda.