Speaker Rebecca Kadaga on behalf of the House, extended condolences to the family of Haji Musa Katongole.
He pioneered creation of the Uganda Taxi and Drivers Association (UTODA), which was a timely solution after collapse of the government-owned public bus and train conveyance systems, she said Thursday.
“May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
The former chairman of Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association UTODA died on Monday after several days of illness in hospital.
Katongole, 58, died of heart and breathing-related challenges at TMR International Hospital in Naalya, Kampala City, where he had been undergoing treatment for days.
He was buried Wednesday at Nakasajja Village on Gayaza Road in Wakiso District.
Despite the fact that Katongole didn’t go beyond primary education level, he nearly single-handedly led the transformation and management of the passenger service van system in the country that many transport and taxation experts are still studying.
Katongole was born in 1963.
His father, Muhamudu Katongole (RIP), and mother Mayimuna Namisango (RIP), were very close to Buganda Kingdom.
Musa Katongole’s friends say his father worked for the kingdom and it is the reason he settled near the county headquarters in Kasangati, Wakiso District.
Mr Ali Ssekabembe Malembe, a friend of Musa Katongole, says it was Muhamudu Katongole who introduced his son to the transport sector.
Muhamudu, who hailed from Kayunga District (then Mukono District), owned a pick-up vehicle which he used to ferry merchandise to and from the city centre.
Katongole’s father trained his son how to drive when he was at a tender age.
With such a skill, Katongole dropped out of school and started ferrying fruits to Kampala City using the same vehicle.
Kawempe Division Mayor Emmanuel Serunjogi says he first met Musa Katongole in the early 1980s at Nakasero Market.
Around 1984, while driving back to Kayunga District, Katongole used to offer lifts to passengers at a negligible fee.
Katongole’s friends suspect this opened him up to public transport.
Mr Ssekabembe says Katongole and his friends started a commuter taxi stage and an association in Kayunga District, which they named Ssezibwa Taxis.
He and friends established the Bugerere-Kayunga taxi stage. His friends elected him the stage chairman.
Taking over Utoda
Mr Serunjogi, who was also in the taxi business then, says an opportunity opened for Katongole around 1989 when Utoda held elections for the chairmanship.
He contested and won the chairmanship. He replaced a man nicknamed Mitwalo Nkaaga.
Taxis, drivers and operators were registered. Offices were opened at different levels.
And indiscipline among drivers and taxi operators was dealt with.
In the early 1990s, Utoda determined the transport fares on each route and also enforced traffic discipline among its members and passengers.
Taxi drivers and operators said they feared Utoda personnel more than police officers.
Katongole would later introduce uniforms for Utoda personnel to do their work professionally.
The Utoda personnel collected levies on behalf of local governments and central government.
Background information by Daily Monitor