Police foil Kabale taxi drivers' protest

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Police foil Kabale taxi drivers' protest
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Security operatives in Kabale led by police and the Resident District Commissioner have foiled a demonstration by taxi drivers who are complaining over dissatisfaction with the Kigali-Rwanda cross-country transport company.

The taxi operators accuse the Rwandan transporter of disregarding established rules and regulations for loading and offloading passengers.

The drivers began their demonstration in Kabale Taxi Park where they parked their vehicles, leaving passengers stranded and also blocking cross-country vehicles from transporting the passengers.

The Kigali-Rwanda Cross-country transporters company, which traditionally operates special hire services between Kabale and Kigali, has allegedly expanded into regular taxi operations.

This move has reportedly led to a significant decline in passenger numbers for the local taxi drivers.

The police officers led by Joseph Bakaleke, District Police Commander, together with RDC Godfrey Nyahuma, swung into action and ordered the protesting drivers to agree with the cross-country operators on how to operate in harmony.

Through their chairman, Mr Saturday Byamugisha, the Kabale Drivers Association said the rules and regulations were collaboratively established to ensure smooth operations within the town.

Byamugisha said the regulations designate specific points for loading and offloading passengers.

However, cross-country transport company’s blatant disregard for these rules has disrupted the system, leading to unfair competition and difficulties for those who comply.

“The main issue is concerning with cross-country transporters company which comes from Kigali-Rwanda to Uganda, it comes to Kabale, Mbarara and any other place," he said.

"So, these vehicles have become a problem because they take passengers which other vehicles should be taking, they don’t enter the taxi park, they also load from outside mainly in the bus park.

"The bus park is a prohibited place, no taxi should load or off load from there but that's where the cross-country transporters put up their offices and do their business."

Byamugisha said he has repeatedly reached out to different offices  for intervention but no action has been taken to address their concerns.

“We took our issues to various leaders in Kabale and also sat together and they told these cross-country transporters to come join the rest in the taxi park and know that they are under the office of the driver’s association which they never respected," he said.

"So we also decided to join them from where they are working from.”

Bakaleke said taxi drivers should know that the aspect of talking to on another is key to public work. He adds that taxi drivers should learn how to respect one another.

RDC Nyakahuma appealed that the taxi drivers to learn to keep law and order. He further called for an engage that will see both parties on table.

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