HOIMA – Ministry of Works and Transport has promised to address the challenges affecting the taxi drivers and owners in the country through the proposed taxi operator’s constitution.
This was revealed by Ministry officials during a regional validation meeting for the draft constitution of the taxi industry.
Recently, Ministry of Works and Transport drafted a constitution on the instructions of the president, to govern the National Association of Taxi Operators.
The meeting held in Hoima City attracted municipal and city leaders, leaders of taxi drivers and owners from the districts of Hoima city, Kagadi, Kibaale, Buliisa and Masindi.
Robert Kisakye, the Senior Licensing Officer at Ministry of works said that a plan to have the constitution for the National Taxi Operators’ Association was reached during a meeting that was held between the taxi operators and President Museveni.
He explained that the national constitution will help the taxi operators to vote for their national leadership.
Kisakye explained that multiple fees paid on the road, harassment in the taxi industry, people leading the industry who are not taxi operators, failure to get support from the government in terms of financial subsidy and mismanagement of funds are some of the challenges which were identified by taxi operators during their meeting.
“The association is mainly going to address the challenges that taxi operators face in the industry. The idea of a constitution came from a meeting between taxi operators and the President. The taxi operators felt the need for accountable leaders and the desire to participate in decision making process in the industry,” said Kisakye.
He added that different officials are traversing the country collecting views of the taxi drivers and owners which they will incorporate into the constitution before passing it into their policy.
There was overwhelming endorsement from Bunyoro as the taxi operators agreed to form an association and offered ideas on how they want the association to look like.
The Ministry will now incorporate these views from the regional meetings and come up with a final constitution that will regulate the association.
Musoke Matia, a businessman and owner of taxis in Kagadi district welcomed the initiative adding that it was long overdue to have the association and laws governing taxi operators.
He noted that this business has been facing several challenges including indisciplined drivers, lack of transparency and over taxation adding that once the draft constitution is passed into law, it will solve many problems.
He further noted that this constitution is going to streamline the taxi industry and restore sanity among the operators.
Karungi Mustafa, the Chairman of Masindi District Taxi Driver’s Association and Hamfrey Mugisa the Chairperson of Hoima Taxi and Bus Park commended the president for the initiative adding that the constitution of the taxi operators’ associations will eliminate masqueraders from the taxi business and give them an opportunity to advocate for their rights.
They said that taxi operators have not been benefiting from the industry as they expected due to lack of a national body to organise them.
They also demanded for regional balance during the elections of the national leaders of the taxi operators’ association.
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