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137 new buses to be imported by Qualicel

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th June 2009 03:00 AM

THE Uganda Bus Owner’s Association (UBOA) and bus operators might be evicted from Qualicel Bus Terminal after the terminal’s managers sign a deal to get 137 new buses from Japan.

By Jude Kafuuma and Bernadette Manisula

THE Uganda Bus Owner’s Association (UBOA) and bus operators might be evicted from Qualicel Bus Terminal after the terminal’s managers sign a deal to get 137 new buses from Japan.

This follows a decision by Drake Lubega, the managing director of Qualicel Bus Terminal in Nakivubo, to maintain sh50,000 as the new loading and parking fees, a decision, which the bus-operators refused to follow.

Lubega said once an agreement is signed with Japan’s Yoto Motors, the firm would supply 137 buses on a loan that would be paid in 50 years.

Lubega said at his offices that Qualicel management had already planned to use the space and was waiting for a response from the prospective suppliers.

“Yoto Motors has accepted to provide 137 new buses each with a cargo capacity of 10 metric tonnes. Each bus is expected to carry 70 passengers,” he said.

Lubega said the buses would transport 10,000 people daily across Uganda. A five-year contract will be signed.

“This is better than fighting for sh50,000 the bus operators are required to pay,” he added. The buses are expected to arrive within three months once the agreement is finalised.

During a meeting last Monday, UBOA and Qualicel management failed to agree on the fees. So, the bus operators decided to go back to the streets and insisted on paying the old sh40,000 to which Lubega objected.

Lubega had earlier said they were planning to construct a business centre with a shopping arcade. “Qualicel is an investment. We are business people and we want profits! When they refuse to pay sh50,000, a classic shopping arcade will be constructed or we shall use it as a park yard,” he emphasised.

Lubega argued that his stand on the terminal was clear and tenants should not decide on the fee during a recession. However, a row erupted between boda-boda operators, special hire taxis and bus operators over parking space along the Nakivubo-Allen lane.

Tayebwa Gerald, the manager and director of Ibabu Coaches, said bus operators were comfortable loading on the streets.

137 new buses to be imported by Qualicel

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