The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has been told to retract the public notice in which it ordered Safe Boda, Glovo and Jumia among other companies to halt their operations, which they described as illegal.
The three companies were listed among the total of 70 courier companies and radio stations which the commission says were found to be operating without licenses, during an inspection carried out in June and July.
The list includes a host of upcountry based radio stations as well as major bus companies including Ibabu, Kaliita, Gaaga, Swift, Baby Coaches among others.
In the notice published in papers last week, UCC advised the “proprietors and all persons working for those companies to immediately stop providing illegal services.”
“All persons that will be found providing illegal services shall be arrested and their equipment confiscated.” The Commission warned.
However, according to the E-Trade and Start-ups Association of Uganda, UCC made an error in listing Jumia, Glovo and Safe Boda as courier companies, as they are not.
“None of those companies are courier companies. We are simply consumers of courier services,” said Mr Ron Kawamara, the CEO Jumia, who is also the association chairman.
“UCC by requiring us to be licensed is equivalent to Bank of Uganda asking us to be licensed because we have bank accounts.”
For his company, Jumia, Mr Kawamara said they have up to 12 companies who do delivery and courier services for them, all of which are licensed by UCC.
As such he called on the Commission to retract the statement, before it causes harm to the businesses.
“The statement was wrong and misleading and we are engaging with UCC and we expect a retraction. If this doesn’t happen, then we reserve our legal option.”
Mr Ricky Thomson, the founder of Safe Boda revealed that the association members yesterday, Thursday held a meeting with UCC, to have the matter resolved.
Mr Thompson noted however, that the UCC communication caused panic in his company and across the business.
“I am getting calls every morning from everywhere, people trying to find out if we are safe. But I want to inform you that the communication was an error and our business is operating normally,” he said.
On his part, Junior ICT Minister Godfrey Kabbyanga who was speaking at the official launch of the E-Trade and Start-ups Association , said the issue was a “minor mistake” which is already being rectified.