They also have about 85 lost National identity cards and 10 passports that were handed to them by drivers that pick them from their Vehicles.
Hundreds of lost National Identity cards and passports are lying uncollected in the offices of taxi drivers in Kampala. Many more perhaps are lying at the reception desks of major institutions and banks, condemning the owners to the grueling experience of having to replace these essential documents.
Richard Kiyaga, a taxi driver who plies the Kampala-Entebbe route told The Sunrise that they have over 100 National Ids, several driving permits and other documents which were picked by either taxi touts or passengers.
He says that they keep documents in their office in Entebbe Kitooro or in the USAFI park but that the owners are not forthcoming, indicating an information gap.
His counterpart and the chairperson of Kampala Operational Taxi Stages Association (KOTSA) Hajji Yasin Ssematimba, adds that they also have about 85 lost National identity cards and 10 passports that were handed to them by drivers that pick them from their Vehicles.
Ssematimba and Kiyaga have asked the government to open up a central office where lost items can be deposited.
He adds as well that for the process to yield results, the government should publicize the office using mass media so that owners of the documents are able to find them.
He also suggested that the government reduces the cost of replacing an ID. “We understand Government cannot prevent loss of IDs but at least it should make the process of replacing a national ID easy and affordable. For example instead of UGX 50,000, they should charge UGX 20,000,” Said Ssematimba
Further Ssematimba says Government should Gazette a place where Ugandans can access their lost IDs and as well as pay all media houses to give publicity to all lost National Ids.
Besides identification documents, the taxi operators say they have in their offices, several valuables such as bags and academic documents whose owners they cannot trace.
But considering the inconvenience and cost of replacing essential documents like Ids, academic documents and passports the taxi operators argue that the government does something to ease people’s suffering.
Kiyaga has also urged passengers to take extra caution and not lose their valuable possessions.
It appears however that in the era of the internet, creating a platform where people can easily post or find lost items is a simple thing.
Considering the low levels of trust, and corruption in government offices, it may take an innovative individual to start such a platform.