19 February 2014

Tanzania: Commuter Buses Resume Services in Mwanza

Mwanza — BUS owners' strike in Mwanza city entered its second day yesterday and causing acute shortage of public transport mainly to bus commuters.

The strikers who were against a new bus stand located to them within the city, were now demanding immediate release of their union's Chairman, Petro Dede who was arrested by police on Monday for questioning.

Dede was arrested by police for interrogation over the Monday's strike and filed complaints to police through the Transport Owners Association's Chairman Mr Yusufu Lupilya.

The questioning lasted for three hours and operators also decided to lay down tools for three hours to press for the release of their leader who is also accused of leading the Monday's strike.

Drivers and conductors also were blaming commuter bus owners for taking legal measures against their leader, saying it was unfair.

The Transport owners Association Chairman Mr Lupilya claimed that Mr Dede organized the boycott against the procedures set in their agreement and see it as a bleach of contract as no driver is allowed to strike before any agreement between the two parties was reached.

"We suffered great loss following yesterday's strike, that was never received bus owners blessings. There was no agreement between bus owners and the drivers.

Any boycott must be an agreement between the two parties," said Mr Lupilya. On Tuesday the most affected people were students who were forced to board lories and other available means of transport at a fare of not less than Sh500 and those who had less were forced to walk over five kilometres to and from schools.

Things were even serious on Monday when students were forced to hire motorbikes at shs 1,500/= per trip. "My mother gave me Sh400 for bus fare," said Jummane Ally, a pupil at Butimba Primary school.

The most affected areas include lemela- Igoma, Buhongwa-Igoma, Igoma- Airport, and Nyege- Luchekele routes.

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