WINDHOEK, 23 Apr- The Namibian Police have towed away several taxis that took part in a protest near the City Police headquarters here Monday.
The taxis were driving in a convoy en route to the Ministry of Works and Transport to seek response on a petition handed over earlier Monday and another petition given in February this year.
However, the convoy was stopped by the police who requested the drivers to refrain from going to the ministry. The drivers then left their taxis in the road and this forced the police to remove the cars with tow-away vehicles.
The drivers just looked on as their taxis were being removed.
The protest to the works ministry follows apparent failure by the ministry to respond within two hours given by the union after handing over the petition Monday morning.
Deputy Permanent Secretary (PS), Kenapeta Kauaria received the petition and promised that the message will be directed to PS Willem Goeiemann.
The strike was organised by the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU).
Earlier Monday, the union and its members threatened Government to take the strike to “another level which might be very consequential to the government”.
They claim Government has been reluctant to respond to the demands of taxi drivers and owners.
The union has over the years handed over several petitions to various authorities, including Parliament.
Addressing about 300 taxi drivers and owners Monday morning, NTTU President Werner Januarie said it is unacceptable that the works ministry has not responded to a recent petition handed over on 14 February 2018.
“We have given you a lot of time to right the wrong committed against our people…,” noted Januarie.
Their demands include reduction of traffic fines, 20 per cent increment of taxi fares and recognition of taxi drivers and their representatives by Government.
He said they have a potential sponsor from South Africa, whose identity cannot be revealed at this point in time, who is ready to assist them to launch a court case against Government.
“It’s against the above backdrop we hereby emphatically inform you that once we start with our court case, there will be no turning point for us as we will not entertain any motions or notions of the court settlement,” added Januarie.