Taxi Drivers today in unison called for the dissolution of TAPSCOM, a committee setup last year to collect revenues and man taxi park entrances of on behalf of Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA.
TAPSCOM, an initial for Taxi Park Stages coordinating Committee came in the cross-fire today when the drivers met with the Inspector general of police Kale Kayihura and Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
The meeting was convened amidst a strike which paralyzed public transport in Kampala as taxi drivers led by members of the National Union of Drivers, Cyclists and Allied Workers (NUDCAW) kept their cars off the streets to protest the alleged harassment and extortion by KCCA workers.
The drivers and cyclists are accusing TAPSCOM of extortion, harassment and torture. They also accuse the committee of masterminding illegal detentions, and illegally impounding vehicles from whoever fails to clear KCCA dues on time.
According to Abdulla Kitata, the NUDCAW National chairman, KCCA has among other issues, ignored complaints and continues to use excessive powers to levy exorbitant taxes and through its officials who impound vehicles without justifiable cause.
The spokesperson of the Uganda Passenger protection Association Badru Nyenje voiced out the grievances of the taxi operators at the meeting.
However the TAPSCOM executive refused to heed to the demands of the drivers saying they need to comply with authority guidelines.
Fracas broke out when the TAPSCOM executive accused the other taxi drivers of being bodaboda riders who are not in any way affected by the operations of the taxi industry.
The fracas that lasted over 30 minutes led Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Andrew Felix Kaweesi to sort out who should go to the boardroom on behalf of TAPSCOM.
The committee then selected 10 members to represent them to a closed door meeting that went on till 6; 30 pm in the evening.
It is not yet clear if there is an agreed decision on whether taxis will work tomorrow but sources attending the meeting said taxi drivers said they would not hit the streets until TAPSCOM is officially dissolved and pushed out of the taxi park.