KAMPALA – Taxi drivers have on Tuesday, June 25, reacted bitterly to the newly launched Police Express Penalty Scheme(EPS) which was launched on Monday, June 24 police at the headquarters in Naguru.
These have accused the police of attempting to rob them of their hard-earned money.
While launching the scheme, AIGP Stephen Kasiima, the Director Police Traffic Department said the new portable electronic machines and printers will replace receipt books.
This system will help and encourage transparency as well as cracking down on defaulters.
A total of 1400 traffic officers were trained to use the system.
Therefore traffic police will be responsible for issuing and printing receipts to offenders and in the process, defaulters will be easily be tracked using because driving permit numbers and number plates of vehicles are captured by the system.
According to Mr. Gad Mugisha the chairman Commercial Taxi Owners Transport and Development Association, police would have consulted taxi drivers before launching the system because there is no change.
“Let them not dare stop people’s cars today. When the officer gives you a receipt with the new EPS, the same officer is the one to erase it. Why don’t they consult us before taking such steps?” he said.
Mr. Mugisha added saying that they want to pay cash when a receipt is already issued.
However, Mr. Mustafa Mayambala, the chairman of Taxi Drivers and Conductors hopes the EPS will be more transparent compared to the past.
“In the past, we were made to pay receipts double. Let me expect that this is to be different from the new scheme,” he said.
He added that as taxi drivers, they will keep a keen eye on the new system.
Mayambala also requested police to organize training with drivers before rolling the scheme out so that drivers learn how it works and do not end up being cheated by some unscrupulous officers.
He also blamed the police for not consulting them before introducing the scheme.
According to AIGP Kasiima, drivers were consulted before launching the scheme adding that police cannot consult everybody before rolling out every scheme.
He added that it was the drivers that asked for the express penalty scheme.
“We work by the law and we are enforcers. We don’t make the laws; we implement the laws. We follow the law, anything that is outside the law, we do not follow” Kasiima said.
Mr. Kasiima added that they held consultations at Hotel Africana saying that people like Gad just want to confuse other drivers.