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Masaka city leaders, taxi operators in dispute over illegal parks

Taxi operators in Masaka are feuding with city leaders over illegal taxi parks. File Photo

Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | For over a decade now, the taxi operators under their umbrella of Masaka United Taxi Drivers and Operators Cooperative Society-MUTDOCs, have been operating from a temporary taxi park located along the Kampala road in the centre of Masaka town.

Before the lockdown restrictions were eased, Masaka city leaders issued a public notice banning all illegal stages and parks operating in the area, on grounds they are creating confusion in the town.

Florence Namayaja and Godfrey Bamanyisa, the Masaka City Mayor and Town Clerk respectively, instructed police and other law enforcement teams to crackdown all defiant drivers and force them back to their gazetted areas of operations.

However since Monday, there have been disagreements between the leaders and operators.

The drivers led by Bashir Mawanda, the Chairperson of Masaka United Taxi Drivers and Operators Cooperative Society-MUTDOCs have refused to return to the gazetted park. Mawanda argues that it is located far away from the town centre which limits its easy accessibility by the passengers.

According to Mawanda, the city authority failed to work on the access roads to the park, which he says is currently in very bad shape with huge potholes and a lot of dust.

Joseph Kaweesi, another taxi driver argues that the taxi park was gazetted in an isolated place which compromises the safety of passengers.

Florence Namayanja, the Masaka City Mayor says that operating from the illegal stages has led to recurrent destruction and vandalism of new road infrastructure, something she says her leadership cannot tolerate.

Godfrey Bamanyisa, the Masaka City Town Clerk says they will continue engaging with the leadership of taxi operators to enable them to appreciate the significance of restoring order in the town.

He says that their civil works department is working on modalities of improving the taxi park to make it accommodative to both the drivers and passengers.

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