Crime & InvestigationNews

PHOTOS: Teargas Rocks Jinja as Drivers Face off with Police, Several Arrested

Tear gas spread in the air in Jinja Municipality town Monday morning when a demonstration emerged over divisions among coaster and taxi drivers.

Coaster drivers are blaming taxi drivers for making a separate stage and lowering transport costs to Shs500 from Shs700.

Both groups transport passengers travelling to Bugembe town council in Jinja.

On Monday morning, the drivers of coasters closed off Kutch Road in Jinja town with their vehicles, preventing their colleagues from accessing the new stage they say was illegally put at the Central Market in Jinja.

Taxi drivers vowed not to leave the place, arguing that they resorted to the new location because they wanted to set their own price to get passengers.

Taxi drivers demonstrate

They also argue that the price set by coaster drivers at Shs700 can’t work for them.

Our reporter talked to some of the passengers and they said that they supported the idea of taxis to reduce the fare.

As the encounter between the two groups turned aggressive, police led by ASP Pius Asiimwe came to calm down the situation.

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Asiimwe commanded the coaster drivers to open the road, and they complied, but the taxi drivers refused to vacate the area, prompting cops to fire teargas at them.

Police at standby

Some unknown number of taxi drivers was arrested in the process. Police was able to finally disperse them after several minutes of confrontation with teargas.

David Wayira, the vice chairperson Costa Drivers Association said that poor coordination between the groups had aggravated the situation to this level.

Police said they wont allow anyone to use the stage until the problem is solved.

 

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