Arusha — The union of Drivers in Arusha Region have objected to the ban of Noah vehicles from plying Arusha-Namanga and Karatu routes in Arusha region come June next year.
Speaking to the press recently the representative of Namanga Express team, Sadi Ibrahimu and a member of Noah Express Karatu Geogre Joseph said the ban was harmful to their business hence the Government should reverse the decision.
This was in response to an announcement by the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) to have imposed a ban on Noah vehicles from ferrying passengers on the Namanga and Karatu routes come June next year. The authority has also denied renewal of expired licences.
They said they have been paying shs 291,000 annually as taxes as well as fees to SUMATRA. However, their vehicles do not have a scheduled timetable rather they do their business as minicabs on demand as required by customers.
Sadi said they spent all their money to acquire the vehicles and with the ban they do not know how they will make ends meet. He also lamented that some of the vehicles were obtained through bank loans and without the business they will face hard times and may not be able to repay the loans.
He said the two parties met with the Arusha District Commissioner on 22/6/2012 but no compromise was reached.
They said in 1996 when the East African Community was re-introduced SUMATRA directed the transporters to stop using Peugeot vehicles and change to Noah like their Kenyan counterparts.
'To our surprise the same authority is banning the use of Noah for being unsafe to carry passengers six year down the line. We are mistreated by the banâ€â„¢, Sadi said.
He said their transport services are, offered to tourists and businessmen who transport goods to Kenya, Uganda, Congo, among others.