Thursday April 10 2014

KCCA ban on city taxis paralyses transport


KAMPALA- Hundreds of city commuters were yesterday stranded and others trekked kilometres to catch a ride on public service vehicles, as a tightly enforced Kampala Capital City Authority ban on picking passengers by the roadside began to take a toll on residents.

The situation was worse on Entebbe Road where regular and military police officers fired bullets and tear gas to remove taxi operators who had attempted to block a section of the highway.

Commuters to Makindye, Lukuli-Nanganda , Nsambya , Kajjansi, Kasenyi , Salama–Munyonyo, Najjanankumbi , Entebbe , Zana- Namasuba, Busabala, Kansanga, Muyenga, Ggaba and Buziga scrambled for the limited available taxis.
Drivers who were recently relocated to Usafi Taxi Park in protest parked their vehicles, including on streets, exacerbating the transport crisis.

What they want
The drivers want KCCA to reverse the ban, but the authority’s enforcement officers instead accelerated the crackdown.

“We are going to increase the crackdown on illegal taxi stages and parks. Law enforcement officers conniving with anybody to maintain the status quo will be arrested and prosecuted,” said KCCA’s Communications Supervisor, Mr Robert Kalumba.

Some of the taxi operators accuse KCCA law enforcers of keeping a blind eye on some drivers who loaded passengers from streets. Angry drivers also deflated tyres of one of KCCA pickup trucks.

Shops within Usafi Park remained closed the whole of yesterday as traders feared to lose their merchandise to looters.