Death of Driver Sparks Protests In Luweero

1543 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
Muhamadi Wasswa, a driver at Nakasongola Taxi Park says in addition to paying loading fees at the taxi park they are also charged for offloading passengers at different stages. According to Wasswa from Nakasongola to Kampala, he pays fees at three different stages, which is unfair.

Taxi drivers in Luweero district have launched a defiance campaign against multiple parking fees following the death of their colleague in a row.

The campaign was prompted by the death of Pascal Katongole, a driver at Kawanda-Kagoma taxi stage after he was knocked by police patrol on Thursday last week at Busula trading center in Luweero while fleeing from paying Shillings 4500 for loading passengers in Wobulenzi Taxi Park.


The drivers have refused to bury his remains since then, in protest of what they call brutality and multiple taxation. Castro Ssekyaya, the vice chairperson Uganda Transport Development Agency-UTDA says last year President Yoweri Museveni directed urban authorities to stop levying multiple taxes.

He however, says town councils in Luweero have continued charging illegal fees, which has sparked protests. Ssekyaya accuses taxi park operators of using police to harass drivers, which led to the death of their colleague.

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Luganda Byte

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Muhamadi Wasswa, a driver at Nakasongola Taxi Park says in addition to paying loading fees at the taxi park they are also charged for offloading passengers at different stages. According to Wasswa from Nakasongola to Kampala, he pays fees at three different stages, which is unfair.

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Paul Mukungu, the LC 3 Chairperson of Luweero town council and the Treasurer Bulemezi Taxi Operators and Cooperative Society Limited, Dan Kyobe says they have not received any official communication from the president stopping the levies. Mukungu also wants Museveni to clarify on what taxes he abolished and how urban authorities can survive without them to end the conflicts.

He also warns drivers to stop loading from ungazetted places, which he says fuels the clashes. Paul Wataka, the Luweero District Police Commander, says they have agreed with the drivers to bury their colleague, adding that they have called another meeting with the Resident District Commissioner, Alice Muwanguzi to streamline the payment of the fees.

According to Wataka, the drivers have already picked the body of their colleague from Kasana Health Center IV mortuary where it has been lying for burial at his ancestral home in Gomba.


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Recently taxi drivers in Masaka municipality also staged protests against the multiple taxes. In the run up to the February polls, president Museveni suspended the payment of multiple levies following a petition by the drivers.

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.