The head of the Anti-Corruption Unit of State House Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, has directed bus operators who had collected money from students that were meant to travel with their companies upcountry and never received the service to refund it to them.
Nakalema raided bus parks in Kampala where she arrested and also stopped bus operators from hiking transport fares to the upcountry travelers on June 8.
In an update through the Anti-corruption tweeter handle on what transpired in the meeting that was convened to harmonize on how students and citizens will be refunded their money, Nakalema has directed that companies that extorted money refund it within seven days.
The meeting that was chaired by Col. Nakalema was attended by the ministry of works and transport and the bus companies’ leaders who all agreed on the decision to refund the money.
Nakalema wants bus owners to refund their passengers by a deadline of June 18, 2021, saying that they will be working with the RDCs to ensure that the affected passengers that include students who paid and never used the bus companies they paid to travel back get their money.
According to the tweeter handle, the Anti-Corruption Unit of state house will work with the RDCs using the regional radio stations to notify all passengers who had paid but were not transported to pick their refunds from district headquarters.
On his part the chairman Uganda Allied Bus Owners Association Solomon Nsimire, apologized for the mistake and vowed to collaborate with the government towards recovering the money from the bus companies that will be found culpable.
Nsimire who was not able to tell how many companies were involved in the practice says they are yet to establish which companies these are from among the over 150 companies they have.
He however, says his worry is on verification of the tickets that were issued by the bus companies.
Nsimire also indicates that the issue of refunding money to the passengers who were transported by these bus companies but were overcharged cannot be effected in case it is proposed.
He defends his position by saying that buses find it hard to operate on one way route and they had to recover this fuel of the return journey through an extra charge though he admits that some companies overcharged.
Meanwhile Nsimire says his office has so far not received any complaint from any passenger about being charged and failing to receive the service by a bus company despite not disputing the fact that passengers suffered extortion.