Passengers have Monday 25th August morning been astonished by the high fares into Kampala Central business district charged by taxi drivers and commercial motorcyclists widely called bodaboda as their protest strike starts.
Many passengers are seen stranded at most taxi stages within Kampala suburbs and neighbuoring towns of Wakiso and Mukono. The few taxis from Bwaise to the city center are charging Shs 5000/= from the usually Shs 1000/= while Mukono to Bweyogerere route is for Shs 2500/= from Shs 1000/=.
In Ntinda, Bwaise, Namugongo, Makerere, Wandegeya and Entebbe road, large numbers of people were seen waking to their work places.
The strikes follow extensive mobilisation by the National Union of Drivers, Cyclists and Allied Workers (NUDCAW) against alleged harassment and extortion by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) workers.
The group alleges that KCCA workers connive with another taxi group called TAPSCOM (Taxi Park Stages Coordinating Committees) to harass, impound vehicles, arrest and imprison. They say KCCA law enforcers extort money from drivers over unclear issues. They want KCCA to disband the group.
KCCA imposed a shs3, 500 daily tax on each taxi not to mention the Shs120, 000 monthly charge.
However Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Andrew Felix Kaweesi has warned the striking parties against causing disorder in the city.
“Nobody will be allowed to disrupt business in the city, we don’t want to see any attempts to block a road or compel or harm those that will not join the strike. We are going to arrest on spot anyone attempting to cause chaos,” Kaweesi says.