NTTU threatens to demonstrate

22 Oct 2015 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 22 OCT (NAMPA) – The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) says its members will demonstrate at State House next month if they are not given clarity about what law governs traffic fines for taxis and other public transport.
NTTU invited officials of the Ministry of Justice, City of Windhoek and the City Police to a meeting on Wednesday at the City Police headquarters in Windhoek.
However, none of these institutions availed representatives for the meeting. Besides NTTU president Werner Januarie and a few of his union’s members, nobody else showed up for the meeting.
The union wanted to discuss high traffic fines and the closing off of some roads in Windhoek to taxis, and wanted clarity on which laws govern taxis with the authorities.
Traffic policing and the enforcement of by-laws in the City of Windhoek’s day-to-day operational and administration activities are guided by the Municipal Police Service Regulations and a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Namibian Police Force and the City of Windhoek in 2004. The service has full policing powers, except the power to investigate crimes.
Januarie said if they do not get satisfactory answers, they will march to State House to take up the matter with the Head of State on 20 November 2015.
“Failure to reach consensus will leave us with no option but to instruct (taxi) drivers not to obey any traffic officer in Namibia and for such driver to challenge officers up to the courts if need be for such officers to produce or provide evidence of a law that makes provision for a taxi or a driver operating it to be fined,” he said.
City Police Chief Abraham Kanime told Nampa in an interview there are no specific laws that govern taxis, and they are treated like any other vehicle on the road.
Kanime further said the matters the NTTU wanted to discuss during the meeting such as the fines and road closure do not relate to the operations of the City Police.
“They should go to the relative authorities that deal with those issues. I wrote them a letter informing them that we as City Police have nothing to do with that and therefore they should go to those authorities, but they went ahead, saying they need a venue at the City Police headquarters. I said it is fine, you can use to the venue,” Kanime said.
He added that he was not at the City Police offices at the time as he had another meeting at the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) headquarters.
“Even if I was in the office I would not have attended that meeting,” Kanime said.