Police fire bullets, teargas at striking taxi operators, five arrested

Military police soldiers bundle one of the protestors on a police truck after his arrest on March 22, 2019. PHOTOS BY EVE MUGANGA

ENTEBBE. Police in Entebbe fired live bullets and teargas canisters to disperse angry taxi operators in Kitooro Taxi Park protesting against payment of Shs6, 000 to the operators association per route.
Mr Ismail Kalungi, a taxi operator said they have been paying the said fees but no receipt is issued.

“Today (Friday), a group of people invaded us forcing us to pay the money. They also impounded some of our taxis claiming that the owners had defaulted. As we insisted, the scuffle ensued and we started fighting them back until police led by the officer in charge Entebbe police station ASP James Mwesigye with the help of military police had to fire bullets and teargas to disperse the angry operators,” said Mr Kalungi.

He accused Mr Stephen Kidde, the chairman of Entebbe Stages Drivers and Conductors Association (ESCDA) of over staying in power and deploying his men to attack them after they declined to pay the money.
However when contacted, Mr Stephen Kidde refuted allegations of being behind the scuffle.

“I heard about the protest that some people invaded taxi operators in Kitooro Taxi Park, but my leadership isn’t the one behind it. Those people are fighting among themselves after hijacking our leadership. There are those operators who didn’t sideline with them and what was done wasn’t in a right way because we were elected,” he said.
He said they plan to hold a meeting in Kampala with the Resident City Commissioner (RCC) to pave way for elections.
ASP James Mwesigye said five people had been detained following the “illegal protests.”