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Taxi Operators in Kabale Reject Relocation to Business Centre

Last month the municipality authorities forcefully relocated taxi and bus drivers from opposite Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Offices in Kigongi along Kabale-Mbarara road as well as Kisoro taxi park commonly known as Esso along Kisoro road in a bid to reduce congestion in town.
Some of the dafiant Taxi drivers still operating at Esso Park along Kabale-Kisoro road (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

Audio 9

A section of transport operators has defied Kabale Municipality’s order of relocating to Mwanjari Cemetery business Centre.

Last month the municipality authorities forcefully relocated taxi and bus drivers from opposite Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Offices in Kigongi along Kabale-Mbarara road as well as Kisoro taxi park commonly known as Esso along Kisoro road in a bid to reduce congestion in town.

The directive also affected all motor vehicle and motorcycle mechanics operating in the garage street market. Authorities want to turn Garage Street in the central division into a business street.

In 2019, authorities had relocated some of the traders in the cemetery to pave way for the ongoing construction of 23 Billion Shillings modern market under the World Bank-funded Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program – MATIP III. However, many taxi operators have defied and returned to Esso Park while others have resorted to load and offload from Butobere junction along Kabale-Mbarara highway. 

Taxi operators say that passengers have continuously refused to go to Mwanjari business centre arguing that it is very far and not strategic and over harassment by their colleagues who operate along-Kabale-Mbarara highway.

Paul Mugisha and Richard Wimana, both taxi drivers along Kabale-Kisoro road say that they were forced to defy the order of operating in the gazette Mwanjari Cemetery Park because it is very far and not strategic to their business.  They also say that the decision of authorities to put taxi and bus park in the cemetery was wrong and disrespectful.

//Cue in: “driving a passenger… 

Cue out: …to us.”// 

Rukiga 

//Cue in: “mwanjari ahi baratugambira…

Cue out: …ekintu bakaitukorera.”//

Angello Aheisibwe, a taxi driver along the Kabale-Katuna-Rubaya road says that they are always harassed and blocked by their colleagues operating along the Kabale-Mbarara highway.

//Cue in: “the problem is…

Cue out: …the park.”//

Rukiga

//Cue in: “ekizibu eki twine…

Cue out: ….okushaasha kweitu.”//

James Kabagambe, the Kabale Manager of Malayika Bus Company, and Mathias Niwaha a taxi driver along Kabale-Mbarara Highway fault the authorities for being corrupt while implementing the order. They argue that authorities allow vehicles of the rich and their friends to continue operating in town while the others are forced to load and offload from the business centre.

//Cue in: “taxi hati omu… 

Cue out: …egyi park.”//

Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha, Kabale Municipality Mayor blames Kabale municipality law enforcement officers for failure to liaise with the police to have all taxis and buses that still load and offload from the centre of the town impounded and drivers arrested.

//Cue in: “when someone…

Cue out: …. Help you.”//

Rukiga 

//Cue in: “omuntu yakora enshobe…

Cue out: …ija omwejuniise.”// 

 

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