Frequent travellers between Luweero and Kampala are protesting what they call an early and unfair hike in taxi fares ahead of Christmas.
Ali Mutebi, the chairman of Bulemeezi Taxi Operators and Cooperative Society Ltd [BTOSCO], says the standard charge from the New taxi park in Kampala to Luweero is Shs 6,000 and from Luweero to Kampala Shs 5,000. But the protesters claim the Shs 1,000 jump from Shs 6,000 to Shs 7,000 from the New taxi park to Luweero and from Shs 5,000 to Shs 6,000 from Luweero to Kampala, is very unfair.
Speaking to The Observer on December 17, passengers said changes in taxi fares are always announced around December 22 and not December 17, almost five days earlier than last year and the previous years.
Interviewed, Frank Seruzi, a driver of taxi Reg. N0. UAM 046L plying the Luweero-Kampala route, said: “You journalist you are a fellow man, you know whenever there is such an opportunity, we use it. We want to develop our homes with these extra profits as these people fight for space in our taxis,” he said.
The travellers want concerned authorities to intervene to save them from the extortionist taxi drivers. Sylivia Namuswe told The Observer as she prepared to travel to Kampala: “I’m a daily traveller to the city for business and thus feel more cheated because I am not bothered by Christmas. I have found a tough time explaining to my bosses this morning that I will need more facilitation to travel in the remaining days to Christmas… ”
Judith Atim, another traveller stepped out of a taxi at Kasana after she was asked to pay Shs 2,000 from Luweero-Wobulenzi, up from Shs 1,500.
“I will wait and negotiate with another taxi otherwise, my budget doesn’t allow me,” she said.
Ali Mutebi, the BTOSCO chairman, has blasted the selfish drivers who have increased the fares. “I’m ignorant about the increment, because those drivers have resolved to increase without our knowledge. BTOSCO is not behind it. But I’m going to intervene immediately, for the good of the poor travellers. In our constitution, any increment has to be agreed upon by all stakeholders,” he concluded.
Source : The Observer