By Fred Turyakira
About 50 drivers in Mbarara town Thursday stormed the South-western region police commander’s office seeking intervention in the taxi park management wrangles.
This paralyzed transport and passengers were left stranded as there were few taxis operating from Mbarara Taxi Park to their various destinations.
The grieved drivers under the Mbarara Taxi owners and Drivers Association (MTODA), accuse the Association’s leaders who have been running the park for 20 years for mismanagement and failure to account for funds collected from them.
The park is being runner by Robert Beyagira, the MTODA chairperson, Hajji Jamil Katongore Bakyase and Idrisa Katende among others who run the tender to collect fees from the drivers.
They want police to close their office and launch investigations into the matter.
Aaron Kanyikirize, who led the group of the grieved drivers, told police that their leaders have not been executing their duties well in helping the drivers. However they formed BEKAKA Company which they have been using to run tenders for the management of the park.
“We are not hooligans we have come here peacefully seeking for your intervention and investigate the leaders because these people formed BEKAKA Company, an abbreviation for their names which stands for Beyagira, Katende and Katongole, which they formed from our money to make their own business and they have not showed us an accountability for 15 years,” Kanyikirize explained.
They also want to police and Mbarara Municipal council to restrain BEKAKA directors from using MTODA office which was shortly closed last week over the demonstration the park over the same issues that were not solved.
Council authorities and Police closed their offices and ordered them to stop collecting fees from the drivers for the mean time, but they re-opened it in unclear circumstances and started collecting fee again.
Martin Abilu, the South-region police commander, advised them to take their grievances to Mbarara Municipal council authorities for redress, saying Mbarara Taxi Park is under the management of the council.
Paul Omoko, the Mbarara town clerk, said they had agreed to meet in the evening over their issues.