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Mbarara taxi drivers protest demolition of their office premises

Anti-riot police deployed to disperse the protesting taxi park drivers and conductors. URN photo

Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police have used teargas and live bullets in Mbarara city to disperse taxi drivers and conductors protesting the demolition of their offices still under construction in the taxi park.

The taxi drivers went up in arms when they saw a tractor deployed by the city authorities demolish the offices, whose construction started on Sunday evening.

Haji Jamil Katongole Bakyansi, the welfare officer of Mbarara Taxi Drivers Association, says that they pay between Shillings 1.8 and 2 million each month in rent, which prompted them to construct their own offices.

He says that they wrote to the city council seeking permission to construct the offices but didn’t receive any response.

Yoramu Karamuzi, the master Kasheshero Mitooma stage says they agreed with the council to follow all the policies and elected their leaders and agreed to move inside the park.

He however says that it is embarrassing, the very people who imposed on them policies are asking them to rent their offices. He says the kiosks housing their offices belong to some of the city councillors who rent them at a high cost.

Jomo Mugabe, the chairperson Mbarara City South Division denied receiving any application from the taxi drivers asking to construct offices in the taxi park. He advised the drivers to put their request in writing to the council.

Efforts to get a comment from the city clerk and mayor were futile since they were not in their offices and didn’t return our repeated calls.

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