Monday August 25 2014

Striking Taxi operators and cyclists storm police headquarters

Taxi operators and Boda Boda cyclists at the

Taxi operators and Boda Boda cyclists at the police headquarters. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa 

By Farahani Mukisa

Over 1,000 taxi drivers and Bodaboda cyclist have stormed Naguru Police Headquarters demanding to join a closed meeting going on between their leaders, KCCA and police.

The taxi and Bodaboda operators under their two separate bodies; Taxi Parks/Stages Coordinating Committee (TAPSCOM) and the National Union of Drivers, Cyclist and Allied workers (NUDCAWO) have stormed the police on claims that they wanted first hand information from the meeting instead of hearing it from their allegedly uncoordinated leaders.

Police officers look watch from a distance.

Police officers look watch from a distance. Photo by Lubowa Abubaker

However, Mr Lawrence Niwabiine, the head of traffic in Kampala called for calm amongst the incensed drivers, adding that their issues would be addressed.

The meeting between their leaders and the officials is intended to find ways of addressing the striking transport operators’ grievances.
This follows a sit down strike by the taxi operators and Bodaboda cyclists that has paralyzed transport in and around Kampala City Center with a number of passengers left tranded.

The striking taxi operators insist they will not operate unless KCCA Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi meets them to address the alleged mistreatment by KCCA enforcement officers.

Police officers were ready just in case. Photo

Police officers were ready just in case. Photo by Lubowa Abubaker

“Every driver who feels they are hurt by KCCA’s mistreatment should join our struggle for our freedom. We shall not cause chaos like police assumes. But we shall continue our sit down strike until a common ground is reached with the city authorities,” said Mr Abdallah Kitata, the ringleader of the strike.

“We are being over charged in taxes. We do not have elected management but KCCA claims it has a committee in place to mediate with us on its behalf. We need to have our own elected leaders,” said Mr Kitata.

Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

Early this year, KCCA constituted a committee to mediate its operations with taxis in Kampala. The committee is called Taxi Parks/Stages Coordinating Committee (TAPSCOM). However, taxis drivers under their umbrella the National Union of Drivers, Cyclists and Allied workers (NUDCAWO) have disowned its operations.

KCCA spokesperson Peter Kaujju reportedly told local media that KCCA will not heed to any threats of taxi operators, maintaining that the city authority was clearly doing what it ought to do for the well being of the city.