By Peter Ssebulime
Kampala: Several traders, vendors, citizens and other Ugandans plying their business in Kampala and along Entebbe Road are spitting fire at officials of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), who shifted several taxis from Old Taxi park to Usafi park.
The situation around Old Taxi Park on Tuesday was tense, following heavy police and military deployment alongside KCCA law enforcement unit, to enforce the relocation of taxis plying Entebbe Road to Usafi taxi park.
On Wednesday, more police, military and LDUs had been deployed in areas of downtown Kampala and Old Taxi park, to avert any riots.
The Entebbe stage in the Old Park is now occupied by taxis plying Mukono-Seeta route and taxis to all areas along Entebbe Road are parking along Ben Kiwanuka Street.
Currently no taxi or boda-boda is allowed to exit through Ben Kiwanuka to Shoprite, since police blocked the exit and are more than ready to arrest any driver trying to test them.
Last evening the Minister for Kampala, Betty Kamya, said that “Taxi operators have been given one last chance to vacate the park while those operating at stages along Kampala streets are advised to move into designated taxi parks.”
Kamya added this was not a KCCA directive but a Cabinet decision to re-organize the operation of taxis in the city, and renovate the park. She warned that those who will try to resist relocation will be forced out by the KCCA enforcement team.
However taxi drivers claimed that they are not aware of any directive from Cabinet or KCCA but above all this plan, they claimed selectively intended to push them out of business.
It is said taxi drivers plying Entebbe Road reportedly spent a night in the Old Taxi Park, guarding their stage, but were later pushed out by police.
Eyewitnesses said on Tuesday that police deployed at the Park and clobbered the drivers before they quickly drove their cars out.
Taxis are exiting the park through Burton Street near Mega Standard Supermarket.
However, several people who now have to foot all the way from Old Taxi park or vice-versa are already complaining about the lengthy distance from both parks, especially those with luggages.
Other are complaining that the stretch between Old Taxi park and Usafi park is full of Kifeesi thugs who often snatch mobile phones, bags and other valuables, hence the safety of most Ugandans walking to and from both parks is highly threatened.