Makerere University economist Dr Fred Muhumuza says the decision by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to hike parking fees is intended to push people to relocate out of the Central Business District.

Starting 1 September, motorists in Kampala will have to pay higher parking rates, according to a public notice by the Kampala Capital City Authority.

The increased fees are all roads and streets on which the city authority designated parking places. The first hour of parking will now cost Shs1,000, up from Shs400, which will apply to the first two hours of uninterrupted parking in the same space.

After the first two hours, parking will cost Shs800 for every 30 minutes, which has doubled from Shs400.

KCCA has 3,500 daytime parking spaces, most of which are in the central business district.

The increment is part of the city authority’s revenue enhancement proposals for the fiscal year that started in July, and was outlined in the ministerial policy statement presented by the minister for Kampala to Parliament.

Dr Muhumuza says people who don’t want to incur more charges in terms of parking fees should relocate their offices to areas such as Bugolobi, Ntinda and others that provide office space. Dr Muhumuza says the hike must be of a magnitude that it can push people to relocate out of the city centre. He says there is no reason why more and more people should be cramming in the Central Business District.

A person who works and parks his or her car in the city centre for eight hours will be paying 11,600 Shillings per day. On average, there are 24 working days in a month and this means a person who parks in the city centre eight hours daily for a month will be spending about 280,000 shillings on parking fees. This would translate to over 3.3 million Shillings a year.

While announcing new parking fees on Tuesday, KCCA Deputy Director in charge of Roads, Eng Jacob Byamukama, said the move is aimed at “minimising on street parking while encouraging off-street parking especially for commuter taxis, optimising existing parking capacity by increasing turn-over, improving safety for pedestrians by reducing illegal parking and setting parking charges to a level that promotes short-stay parking while discouraging long stay parking.”