This morning, a group of law enforcement officer from Jinja Municipality stormed Napier road and ordered the drivers to relocate to the new site in vain.
Over 300 lorry and pickup drivers in Jinja municipality have resisted their eviction from Napier road next to Napier Market to the Oil depots along factory close. This morning, a group of law enforcement officer from Jinja Municipality stormed Napier road and ordered the drivers to relocate to the new site in vain. Led by Majid Musamba, a pickup driver the drivers ordered the law enforcement officers to leave the area or risk being attacked.
They accused the municipality of selling their place of work to a businessman only identified as Ssekito without consulting them saying they only heard about the transaction in rumors. Mawazi Wasswa, one of the drivers says that they have been operating along Napier road for close to 15 years but they were shocked when the council sold off the park behind their backs yet they have been paying taxes. They also accused Hussein Woira, the chairperson of pickup drivers association and the secretary Awali Ntambi of betrayal.
Musa Sekiganda, one of the drivers said that he was suspicious that one of the officials could have been offered a bribe to approve their transfer to the extreme end of the town, where their clients can hardly access them. The drivers are demanding for a crisis meeting with Mohamed Baswari Kezala, the Mayor Jinja Municipality and town clerk Francis Balabanawe in not later than two days or they stage a strike. However, the drivers are not the only opposed to the establishment of the park along factory close.
Peter Ntaki, the managing director Eagle investments and Garden tea has threatened to sue the municipality if it goes ahead with the arrangements to establish the park along factory close. He says that establishing the park would block trucks from accessing his factory, and advices the municipality to find alternative land in the town center where it is easily accessible to members of the public. Abubaker Kirunda, the clerk to Jinja Municipal council however denies claims that they resolved to move the park without consulting them saying that all the members were consulted before the decision was taken.
He explained all the lorry and truck drivers and leadership of Total and Eagle factory attended the meeting at Kakindu Stadium in which the decision to relocate the park was reached. Kirunda says that he is surprised that some people are turning to deny that they were not consulted. Both the mayor and town clerk have not commented on the stand off as they could not be reached by our reporter