By Ismael Kasooha
OWNERS and operators of motorcycles have appealed to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to protect them from unscrupulous dealers who are fleecing them with fake log books and number plates.
“We buy motorcycles from dealers without knowing that some of them are quacks and end up losing a lot of money,” said Living Bingi a Boda boda cyclist in Kagadi town.
Bingi said that the motorcycle dealers do not mind about them so long as they make their profits and appealed to URA to screen those dealing in motorcycles and weed out the fake ones.
Yuda Kisakye told the URA team that they buy motorcycles with number plates and are given log books but they are surprised to be told that they are not genuine number plates and even the log books are also forged.
“How do these people get number plates and even fake log books yet we know URA is there to register these motorcycles,” asked Kisakye.
Musa Tumusiime who also operates a bodaboda in Kagadi town asked URA to screen the dealers in motorcycles so that fake ones are not allowed to operate.
“When a person sells his maize and wants to buy a motorcycle he/she cannot differentiate between genuine and quack dealers we need your assistance,” said Tumusiime.
The cyclists expressed concern why they are being harassed by URA yet they know they bought their motorcycles from shops and have log books.
Timothy Bashaija the URA enforcement officer in charge Bunyoro sub region told the cyclists that this is part of the reasons they decide to conduct sensitizations for motorcycle owners and dealers to acquaint them with the necessary information about the quack dealers.
Yuda Kisakye one of the cyclists poses a question to the URA official during the meeting at Kagadi Freedom Tree. Photo by Ismael Kasooha
“It is true that some unscrupulous people are forging log books and number plates which cannot be reflected in our systems,” said Bashaija.
Bashaija said that some people buy number plates without log books especially those dealing in spare parts and end up producing fake log books to sell to unsuspecting members of the public.
He asked the public never to buy either motor cycles or vehicles before verifying with URA to establish whether they are genuine or not.
“URA offices are open for you to verify these motorcycles and vehicles before you invest in your money,” said Bashaija.
He said that in Kibaale there is only one registered motorcycle dealer Kirungi Abdul and Sons but others are in the business without the knowledge of URA.
The sensitization meeting was convened by the deputy resident district commissioner Kibaale Emmy Ngabirano after repeated outcry from bodaboda cyclists that they were being arrested by URA.
At the end of the meeting it was resolved that a grace period of two months be given to all motorcycle owners to register with URA and get genuine number plates and log books.
Kibaale district is an epicentre for smuggled motorcycles from the Democratic Republic of Congo especially the ‘Senke’ type.
A few years back URA camped at Kagadi community hall and registered over 1500 motorcycles in two weeks but the problem of unregistered motorcycles still exists.
A brand new motorcycle of 2011 to date requires sh755,000 for registration and sh84.000 for the number plate and log book.
All motorcycles manufactured in 2010 backwards are regarded as old and they pay sh660.000 for registration and sh84.000 for the number plate and log book.