By Betty Namukwaya
Police on Monday morning fired teargas and live bullets to quell angry tax drivers who staged a violent protest against three-wheeled motorbikes commonly known as Tukutuks at Nateete in Nakawuuka Zone. The taxi drivers accuse the tuku-tuku operations of undercutting the taxi business .
At around 8am, taxi operators from Nateete and Busega ganged up heading to Nakawuku stage that hosts tukutuks’. The taxi operators were carrying placards that denounced the three wheeled motorbikes and demanded they be outlawed.
Some of the taxi operators had set up barricades near Nakawuka stage to prevent the tuktuk riders from leaving the stage.
The angry taxi operators also threw stones at any tuk-tuk that was already on the road. Passengers in the tuk-tuks were forced to jump out of the bikes and run for their lives.
Among the taxi operators grievances are that tuk-tuks have eaten greatly into their customer base.
Police quickly rushed to the scene and fired teargas to disperse the angry taxi operators and drivers. Scores were arrested.
Equally angry tuk-tuk riders who spoke to the Nile Post asked the government to urgently intervene to prevent future clashes.
The head of the Kampala Operations Taxi Association Yasin Ssematimba was unapologetic about the actions of his colleagues. He expressed support for their protest.
Kampala Minister Beti Kamya issued a ban on the operation of tuk-tuks in the city in June 2017 but that order was swiftly overruled by President Yoweri Museveni. President Museveni went ahead to show his support by ceremonially riding in a tuk-tuk while issuing the order that they were free to ferry passengers in the city.