Mbarara taxi drivers strike over daily park fees

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Taxi drivers from Mbarara taxi park have stormed office of the Resident District Commisioner, Lt.Col. James Mwesigye,  seeking his intervention to stop Mbarara United Taxi Operators Cooperative Union Ltd leadership from charging them using receipts yet president KagutaMuseveni ordered that they pay for an annual sticker.

Mbarara united taxi operators cooperative union Ltd was formed  in 2016 after merging of Mbarara United Tax Operators and Drivers Association (MUTODA) with Mbarara United Taxi Drivers, Conductors and Owners Cooperative Society Limited- MUTOCOS.

The fight started from the taxi park this morning where two people were hurt.

In September this year, over 80 drivers through their lawyers ofAhimbisibwe and Agaba Company  Advocates petitioned  the offices of Resident district commissioner Mbarara, the district police commander, the LC5, municipality Mayor, town clerk, commercial officers among  other relevant offices asking them to intervene and order for a restructure of their Union’s leadership.

In October 2018, Cabinet sitting chaired by president Museveni passed the new park user fees for taxis and buses in the country to be paid annually.

The minister of state for local government Jennifer Namuyangu said that taxis working within Kampala capital city will pay 720,000shillings, while taxis operating between a local government and KCCA will have to pay 840,000 shillings with KCCA to receive 60 percent and local government getting 40 percent of the collected funds.

   Namuyangu further says that taxis trading between two urban authorities will also pay 840,000 shillings annually with the origin getting 60 percent and destination receiving 40 percent while all buses will pay 2.4million shillings.

She said that money would be paid annually and the drivers would not have to follow the beginning of the financial year or calendar year but each person would be paying when their license expires after one year.

Namuyangu emphasized that the new policy  as well banned the tendering of collection of dues and that drivers would not be allowed to pay any other fees at parks or any other stages and advised tax and bus operators through the ministry of trade to start up SACCOs where they would be depositing their welfare funds they have been collecting amongst themselves.

The drivers accuse the associations chairperson, Robert Beyagira, his vice Sunday Bukenya and another staff identified as Aaron Kanyikirize, of  continuing to charge them daily fees, yet the resident directed that it stops.

The details of the meeting are not yet known, as no journalist was allowed in.

    

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