Taxi drivers ask transport minister to hold elections for new leaders

By John Kibalizi

Taxi drivers, conductors and owners in Kampala under their Drivers and Conductors Central Association (DACCA) have demanded to know why elections for new leaders have been delayed.

The transporters want to know why the State Minister for Transport Aggrey Bagiire has failed to hold elections more than a year after President Yoweri Museveni issued a directive.

Driver Noah Katamba says they are ready to be take part in the electoral process so they can elect new leaders who best represent their interests. They claim that they are tired of the current leaders who are the using the associations for their own selfish interests.

DACCA chairperson Mustafa Mayambala insisted that those opposed to elections for new leaders in the transport sector are enemies of the industry.

Mayambala, who has expressed interest in seeking relection to chair DACCA, says he is still committed to fighting for the rights of drivers and conductors.

However, Yasin Ssematimba, chairperson of Kampala Operational Taxi Stages Association (Kotsa), dismisses the plan to hold elections. Ssematimba argues that the guidelines are discriminative against some of the members.

On Tuesday, minister Bagiire met the current leaders of the transporters to brief them on the electoral guidelines.

In part, the guidelines state that any contestant must be a registered member of a taxi stage in Uganda. Anyone standing for any post must not have a criminal record especially of a capital nature like murder and treason.

Minister Bagiire is yet to announce the date for the elections. Registration of voters is expected to precede the elections and begin from the taxi stages under their mother bodies, districts to national leadership.

The Uganda Electoral Commission is expected to conduct the polls.

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