The drivers at Central division offices
Business was paralysed as taxi drivers in Iganga yesterday went on strike protesting the decision by the Central division to start collecting monthly fees.
Authorities in Iganga Central division recently passed a resolution to collect sh80,000 from each driver in Iganga Taxi Park.
The division leaders also accuse Iganga Taxi Operators and Drivers association (ITODA) for failing to remit the monthly fees as earlier agreed upon.
A group of taxi drivers who were opposed to the idea assaulted four officials of Central division who included the speaker Paul Muwereza and town agent Farouk Sebidde who had gone to ensure the resolution was implemented leaving.
Police rushed to the scene to rescue the officials from being lynched by the angry taxi drivers who accused them of acting outside the law since President Yoweri Museveni had stopped collection of the fee during his visit to the family of the deceased Woman Member of Parliament Iganga Hailat Kauda.
The drivers who were carrying placards also pitched camp at the offices of Iganga central division prompting Police to deploy heavily around the premises to avert any violence.
Traffic along the main Iganga to Bugiri highway was paralysed for over three hours as taxi drivers tried to block the normal flow by placing logs and drums in the road.
Police later released three taxi drivers who had earlier been arrested in connection with the strike.
According to ITODA chairperson, Abdala Batambuze, they are not ready to pay the fees to unless they get an official communication from the President.
“We want the President to come out openly and tell us whether these people are above him,” he said.
Batambuze said taxi drivers are to continue striking until the division reverses its decision.
The town clerk Central division, Hussein Kato, said he was simply implementing a resolution that was passed by the council to collect the monthly fees from taxi drivers since ITODA had faulted on the payment for the past three months.
Kato said failure by ITODA to remit the monthly collections had affected the running of division activities.
“We can no longer pay workers who collect garbage from the streets because they are demanding their three months arrears “he said
He promised to meet the leaders of the drivers seek away on how to implement the resolution.