Bicycle taxi operators also known as Kabaza in Malawi’s northern district of Karonga converged on Wednesday at the district’s council office to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the conduct by the council towards them.
Chairperson for the operators committee, Talangapo Mwinuka said they agreed with the council to start collecting a monthly levy from 1st July on condition that they construct a parking shelter before effecting the newly introduced monthly levy of K300.
“We have demonstrated today because the council is taking us for granted, we agreed early this month what is supposed to happen before collecting the levy but sad to say that, on Tuesday they announced that they will start impounding bicycles whose owners have not given them the levy,” said Mwinuka.
Adding that “we thought we didn’t hear correctly but in the morning the council has impounded six bicycles”
The District Council representative, Raymond Mwakanjala said the bicycle operators were only acting out of ignorance.
“These boys are just stubborn because we were collecting the minibuses which were operating outside bus depot and we saw the bicycle operators wrongly packed at the road that is why we have impounded them,” said Mwakanjala.
Adding that “we are trying our best to build a good relationship with our bicycle operators but we can not manage what they want us to do because the money we collect is used for various projects. We will start collecting the levy from them from 1st July as we agreed.”
According to Mwakanjala, Karonga has over 6000 bicycle taxi operators.