Masaka City Council has suspended Taxi operators from enforcing orders in the public transport business over gross misconduct.
The suspension of Masaka United Taxi Operators Drivers Cooperative Society-MUTODCS was announced on Monday after a meeting that reviewed the apparent stalemate in the management of public transport in the area.
For almost a month, the society has been sacked into a sharp controversy with the City leadership over approaches of enforcing law and order; including collecting fines from errant drivers who operate from illegal taxi parks and stages that were recently closed.
Florence Namayanja, Masaka City Mayor together with security and the technical teams, condemned the leadership of the association for abusing the agreement granted to them to manage the taxi industry on behalf of the City Council.
Namayanja says that they unanimously resolved to give the responsibility of managing the taxi affairs to City law enforcement officers and police, after it emerged that wardens under the association were highhandedly charging exorbitant fines from the obstinate drivers, but remitting all the collections to the city council treasury.
According to her, they also established that the taxis operators’ leadership has assumed mandates of both police and court and were impounding and vandalizing vehicles from other regions of the country; casting the city leadership in a bad light.
She adds that the city council was under imminent threats of being sued by people who have suffered the wrath of the association wardens.
Steven Asiimwe, the Masaka City Resident Commissioner indicates that their office has already received several complaints about the cruel enforcement of the law and order in the taxi business, which called for administrative interventions by the local leadership.
He argues that although taxi operators were doing a good thing to enforce the law, they lacked proper guidance hence overstepping their jurisdiction.
Bashir Mawanda, the Masaka United Taxi Operators Drivers Cooperative Society-MUTODCS Chairperson argues that the decision by the city council leadership was rushed without prior consultations with the stakeholders.
He says they will reach out to the city council leadership to enable them to appreciate the realities of the management of the public transport sector.