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Mbale City Transporters in Bitter Row Over Parking Space

The Taxi drivers under their umbrella Mbale Taxi Drivers, Conductors and Owners' Association accuse the proprietors of Express Transport Companies of parking along the streets and transporting passengers yet they are licensed as courier service providers.
Sumaya Fik, the manager of Green Wish Express in her office during an interview with URN

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There is a bitter row between taxi operators and Express transporters in Mbale city over parking and loading passengers on the streets.  

The Taxi drivers under their umbrella Mbale Taxi Drivers, Conductors and Owners' Association accuse the proprietors of Express Transport Companies of parking along the streets and transporting passengers yet they are licensed as courier service providers.  

It is alleged that on Wednesday last week taxi drivers attacked and roughed up the drivers and staff of Express Transport Company.  The other companies are Oxpress and Green wish Xpress companies. 

The taxi drivers claim that by parking on the streets, the Xpress companies have denied them a chance to carry passengers since they intercept them before they reach the taxi park.

They want the Xpress companies to also park in the taxi park if they are licensed to carry passengers.  David Bakumba, the Operations Manager of Oxpress, says that the drivers have reached the extent of chasing their clients from the offices and confiscated some of their signposts.   

He says that their pleas to the city authorities have not yielded results. Bakumba says that the conflicts have affected their business as they have continued refunding the transport fares to their clients who have failed to move using their vehicles. 

//Cue in: “Town clerk yatu gamba…    

Cue out:…at own parking”//   

Sumaya Fik, the manager of Greenwish Xpress says that drivers have barred them from parking their vehicles along the streets, which has forced them to load from either washing bays or fuel stations.  She says that this has since affected their business because their clients now go to the park after failing to find vehicles from their areas of operation.  

//Cue in: “Along the road…  

Cue out:…that’s what I hear”//     

Baker Wamanga, the proprietor of Green Wish Express, says that it wouldn’t be bad for them to leave the streets but the City council, which licensed them has never shown them where to work from. He says it is hard for them to operate in the taxi park because of the high costs that they incur unlike their colleagues in the mainstream transport services.  

//Cue in: “Aba council… 

Cue out:…tebabikola ebyo”//          

Siraji Masagazi, the Public Relations Officer of Mbale Taxi Drivers, Conductors and Owners Association, says that the conflicts within the drivers are caused by the Mbale City Authority, which has failed to allocate terminals to express companies.

According to him, they don’t want to see express companies parking on the streets because they have caused commotion and congestion in the town and yet they are not licensed to carry passengers. 

//Cue in: “Bano tebali saposed…    

Cue out:…tezilina PSV,”//  

Mbale City Council and the Office of the Resident City Commissioner have called for a harmonization meeting scheduled for Wednesday. The town clerk, David Kyansanku declined to comment, saying he will speak at the meeting.

Ahamada Washaki, the Mbale Resident City Commissioner, says that his office is aware of the conflicts. He says that the role of enforcement should be led by the city council enforcement office and police but not the conflicting parties.     

He says that his office is taking a keen interest to address the conflicts between the taxi operators before it turns into a security threat.   

//Cue in: “And I have both parties…    

Cue out:…in this case is biased”//    

                  

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