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Transport paralyzed in Kampala as taxi drivers strike

By Meddie Musisi

Added 9th May 2017 08:45 PM

Consequently, many passengers were stranded since they could not afford the high fares hiked by the few commuter taxi operators who included special hire drivers and motorcyclists widely called bodabodas

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PHOTOS/Meddi Musisi

Consequently, many passengers were stranded since they could not afford the high fares hiked by the few commuter taxi operators who included special hire drivers and motorcyclists widely called bodabodas

For the second day running business in Kampala suburbs of Kyengera, Busega, Ndeeba, Nateete and Kibuye along Masaka road remained paralysed  as the rival factions operating public transport  abandoned work in  the unresolved row over right to  operating boundaries.

Consequently, many passengers were stranded since they could not afford the high fares hiked by the few commuter taxi operators who included special hire drivers and motorcyclists widely called bodabodas

The few special hires from Kyengera to the city centre were charging 20.000/ from the usual 10.000/ while bodabodas charged 5000/ per head and were carrying two passengers. 

The strike that entered a second day follows an extensive mobilization by Kyengera taxi drivers who said they were against harassment by their colleagues who are operating from Kibuye Taxi Park.

Kyengera drivers accuse Kibuye group of extending operations from Kyengera to Nsangi.

According to the drivers at Kyengera Park, both parties from Kibuye and Kyengera resolved that the taxis from Kibuye should not go beyond Kyengera which the drivers from Kyengera are opposed to.

The standoff prompted, Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Frank Mwesigwa to convene an urgent meeting with leaders of the rivaling groups.

The meeting at Country Resort Kyengera was attended by Wakiso district RCC Ian Kyeyune and Nsangi Municipality Mayor hajji Abdul Kiyimba .

Warning them against causing public disorder in the city, Mwesigwa said, “let us keep public order on the road as we talk to your leaders and see how to resolve this problem,"

However, Kyengera taxi operator's chairman Simon Muweesi said his drivers and conductors are always provoked by Kibuye drivers. "We don't have a bad agenda towards our brothers from Kibuye, but they are the trouble causer of all this," Mweesi said.

Muweesi said he has met several times with the leadership of Kibuye but failed to reach a conclusion because they refused to accept that the taxis from Kibuye must have a boundary at Kyengera.

Speaking to both parties, hajji Kiyimba said, any taxi driver who wants to operate from Kyengera and Nsangi must follow the guidelines governing taxi drivers.

"We don't have a problem with someone working within Nsangi, but he must be well-behaved and be ready to follow our guidelines," Kiyimba noted.

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