Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Nineteen taxi operators have been arrested in a joint operation mounted by the Uganda Police Force and the Special Forces Command at different locations along Entebbe road.
The arrests were made during early morning protests by the taxi operators, disputing an injunction on the election of their leaders. The operators staged roadblocks in Kitooro, Katabi, Abayita Ababiri, and Broadway, Kawuku and Namulanda paralyzing business and transport along the road.
Moses Kasule, one of the eyewitnesses said that the drivers were violent to an extent of beating up some of their colleagues, who were found carrying passengers in disregard of an agreement for a sit down strike today.
Entebbe Deputy Resident District Commissioner Noor Njuki was equally sent away by the rowdy protestors when he attempted to persuade them to end the strike.
Police used teargas to tame the drivers who had become unruly. In the process, 19 people were arrested and Njuki was whisked away by Police.
Last week, the same operators were involved in a bitter argument between the old and new leadership of the taxi park. The new leadership had reportedly increased loading and parking fees without the consent of all affected parties.
The operators had reportedly been asked to pay a loading fee of 6,000 Shillings, even after resolving that the fares should be suspended until they arrive at an agreement on the election of their new leadership.
The operators now blame the chairperson of the Kampala Operational Taxi Stages Association (Kotsa) Yasin Ssematimba and the leadership of the security committee in Entebbe for fueling the fights amongst the different sections of the taxi operators.