Lusaka Taxi drivers to meet over latest fuel hikes

Lusaka Taxi drivers to meet over latest fuel hikes

Riots in Livingstone

Riots in Livingstone

Taxi drivers in Lusaka are planning to meet and chart the way forward over recent fuel hikes.

According to insiders, taxi drivers want to demand reduction of fuel as the recent hike has further disrupted their already fragile business.

The meeting will take place at Town Centre around 10 hours, according to taxi drivers spoken to.

Last Monday, the PF government through its Energy Regulation Board (ERB) increased the pump price of petroleum products.

The last time the PF government had increased fuel prices was two months earlier on 12th May 2015.

This times, Petrol was increased by K1.13n and diesel by K1 while Kerosene has been adjusted upwards by 72 ngwee.

Petrol will now cost K9. 87n per litre from K8.74n and the new price of diesel will be K8.59 n from K7. 59n while Kerosene will now be K6.12n from K5.40 n.

On Wednesday, Riots erupted in Livingstone in protest against the government’s decision to hike fuel prices.

Business in the tourist capital came to a standstill on Wednesday as police fought running battles with protesting taxi drivers who damaged the vehicles of their colleagues who refused to join the demonstrations. Alarmed tourists scampered in all directions.

According to Africa News Agency, the city, which is well known for its tranquillity and even recently co-hosted the UN World Tourism Organisation general assembly with Zimbabwe, suddenly turned unruly as police fired tear gas to disperse the angry taxi drivers.

Livingstone Taxis Association vice-chairperson Victor Mwengwe said the drivers wanted to be addressed by the government on why it had increased fuel prices and Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) fees.

“They have increased nearly everything – identity, fitness, drivers’ licences and road tax. We are saying that they have to reduce the prices of fuel and the RTSA fees. Are they telling us that they are importing human resources to check our vehicles for fitness? Are they telling us that they are importing the materials they used to make discs?” he asked angrily.

The riot is the latest expression of massive anger which is brewing in the country about what critics say is the current government’s failure to govern.

On Wednesday afternoon all businesses, banks, the town centre market, bus stations and the High Court remained closed in the city centre.

Livingstone district commissioner Omar Munsanje later said government officials were meeting to restore calm to the tourist capital and promised to give a comprehensive statement at a later stage.

 

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