About 64 taxi drivers and conductors at Balikyewunya Luwero –Nakasongola taxi stage accuse their leaders led by Chairperson Uthman Mukasa Kiddu of embezzling up to 71 million Shillings which was saved over the last three years.
Taxi drivers in Luwero and Bombo Town Councils are accusing their
leaders of embezzling welfare funds leaving them crying foul during the recent COVID-19 lockdown.
About 64 taxi drivers and conductors at Balikyewunya Luwero –Nakasongola
taxi stage accuse their leaders led by Chairperson Uthman Mukasa Kiddu of embezzling up to 71
million Shillings which was saved over the last three years. The matter came up after the failure by the leaders to pay out part of the savings to drivers and conductors to cushion them against the impact of the recent 42-day lockdown.
Hudson Kityo Sserugo, a taxi driver explains that they have been saving up to 650,000 Shillings every week on top of another 600,000 Shillings remitted by the group taxi which was purchased more than a year ago. But with all this in their kitty, they were told that the accounts were empty when they asked for part of their savings during the lockdown.
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Friday Gesa, another driver says that they counted so much on
their savings for relief but they were disappointed when their chairperson
Uthman Mukasa Kiddu went into hiding and refused to release the money to help them survive during the lockdown, yet their own members were struggling.
Joseph Kajja, another driver says that after failing to get
accountability for their savings, the drivers resolved to impound a taxi bought
by the group and parked it at the police. They also petitioned the Office of Resident District
Commissioner to compel their leaders to repay their savings
and organise elections for new leadership.
Uthman Mukasa Kiddu, the Chairperson of Balikyewunya Luwero–Nakasongola
taxi stage declined to comment on the matter. But his secretary Titus Ssejungo said that all money was
spent on the purchase of the taxi as well as maintaining it on the road.
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Luwero Resident District Commissioner Rose Birungi said
that she met the two parties and agreed to hold fresh elections in the next
two weeks after learning that they had not held their Annual General Meeting for the past six years. Birungi added that he also ordered that leaders ensure
that they prepare the accountability and present it in the Annual General Meeting
before elections are held.
A sub-committee comprising
of four members has been set up to manage collections from the taxi till the annual general meeting is held.
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In Bombo town council, the LC III Chairperson Kassim Osman
Ramathan said they have also met the drivers and agreed to hold elections in the next two weeks to
change leadership over allegations that the current leaders had failed to
account for welfare funds.