20 March 2019

Tanzania: Mbeya Drivers End Boycott After Pact

Mbeya — Commuter buses operators, who boycotted providing transport services on Monday, resumed services yesterday following a directive from the government to kick rickshaw riders out of the highways.

The boycott, which paralysed transport in Mbeya city, stems from grievances raised by the commuter bus operators.

The bus operators wanted their rickshaw counterparts to be prevented from plying the highway routes because they were dealing them huge blows in terms of earnings. However, the situation has returned to normalcy following Monday's meeting between the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra) and conflicting parties.

The Mbeya commuters had to pay the price as fares hiked from Sh500 to Sh1, 000 and from Sh3, 000 to Sh5, 000 for rickshaws and motorcycles, respectively.

"Following a meeting, which was held yesterday (Monday evening), the drivers commuter busses drivers and rickshaw riders have settled their differences and transport services have resumed," Mbeya District Commissioner Paul Ntinika said.

Rickshaw drivers' association discipline chairman in Mbeya Steven Matengo said they would ensure stamped out all tricycle vehicles operating on the highway route. "We will ensure that the conflict of this nature does not happen in the future." stressed Mr Matengo.

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