Luweero Traders Strike Over Ungazetted Taxi Park

2481 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
They are opposed to taxis operating at Balikyewunya, Kakoolo and opposite Don Petrol Station

More than 100 traders in Luweero Taxi Park have staged a demonstration to protest the failure by the town council to enforce the by law outlawing the loading of passengers in non gazetted areas. The traders closed their shops this morning and stormed the office of the town clerk and law enforcement officer demanding that they act on the errant taxi drivers or resign from office for negligence of duty and incompetence. The affected traders deal in soft drinks, food and household merchandise among other things.

They are opposed to taxis operating at Balikyewunya, Kakoolo and opposite Don Petrol Station. Joseph Makumbi, the chairman of the aggrieved traders says that they rented rooms in the Taxi Park to sale their commodities to passengers and taxi operators but they are disappointed that the taxis are operating outside the park.  He says that in 2000 Luweero town council passed a by law requiring all taxis to load and off load passengers inside the taxi park.

Makumbi says that according to the by law the taxi operators who fail to comply have their vehicles impounded. He accuses the town council enforcement officers and officials of Bulemeezi Taxi operators and Drivers Association of pocketing bribes to allow the taxi operators to load outside the taxi park. Umar Ssemugabi, the proprietor of Twandikoze Phone accessories center says that he used to get over 100,000 shillings each day but due to the laxity in enforcing the by law his earnings have dropped to 30,000 shillings yet he has to pay the license fees to the council.

He explains that as a result of the drop in his earnings he is finding difficulties in paying the 1.2 million shillings annual rental fees for the place he operates from. Godfrey Odoch, another trader says that they have repeatedly complained to the law enforcement officers to act on the errant drivers in vain. He says that they are at the verge of being pushed out of business because they can’t afford paying the license fees.

Odoch says that they have resolved toclose their shops and camp at the Luweero town council offices until the town clerk Muluuta Mugagga enforces the by law against operating in non gazetted areas. Muluuta Mugagga, the town clerk Luweero town council has appealed to the traders to stop the strike promising to address their concerns.

// Cue in: “What we have…………….

Cue out…achieve that goal.’’//

But the taxi drivers led by Robert Nsimbi have vowed to continue loading outside the taxi park saying even passengers don’t want to enter the park. Nsimbi says that they decided to operate outside the park to maximize profits because they used to wait for passengers in the taxi park in vain. By the time of filing this story, the shops were still closed.

 

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.