Pioneer buses at Namboole Stadium after they were ordered off the roads

Pioneer buses that operate from the city to the suburbs of Bweyogerere, Luzira and Mutungo-Biina are today off the city roads.

Early today, when the Eagleonline visited their main loading centre at the Constitutional Square, the orange-coloured buses were not lined up, with some of their spaces instead occupied by the green-coloured Awakula Ennume, another fleet operating under the defunct Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA).

By press time it was not possible to establish the cause of the Pioneer bus absence or when the buses would resume operations but commuters alluded to the long-standing monetary stand-off between the bus company, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

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Efforts to get comment from the KCCA Spokesperson Peter Kaujju and his deputy Kalumba were futile by press time.

The fragile relationship between the Pioneer Easy Bus Limited (PEBL), KCCA and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) can be traced back to the introduction of the buses on the city roads in 2012, when the tax body and the city authorities expressly cleared the buses to operate on their designated routes without completing registration, following a strike by taxi operators against a monthly fee of Shs120.000 levied by the KCCA.

However, in the ensuing period there developed some financial and contractual misunderstandings between the three organisations, leading to the suspension of the PEBL commuter operations.

Then, the tax body was demanding Shs8 billion from PEBL, and had threatened to auction of about Pioneer 100 buses.

Meanwhile, earlier at inception the bus company had also encountered problems when authorities in Mukono and Kira Sub County petitioned Parliament to suspend the operations of PEBL, in a bid to pave the way for the sharing of the monthly revenues with Mukono, Kira and the KCCA.

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