13.11.2007 General News

Swedru taxi drivers on strike

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Taxi drivers at Agona Swedru in the Central Region, on Monday refused to render their services in protest against police harassment in the district capital.

Mr Eric Bannor, a driver, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency, said the police at Swedru had been extorting monies from taxi drivers without any justification.

He said as a result of the daily extortions by the police they held a meeting on how best they could correct their mistakes to free them from the harassment.

Mr Bannor said some of the measures taken were that all members should ensure that their driving documents were in order and also to put their vehicles in perfect conditions.

According to him, "In spite of these measures aimed at freeing ourselves from the police, they still expect that after stopping a driver, he should put some money in the driving license".

He explained further that the situation made driving in the district capital difficult and uninteresting.

The District Chief Executive, Mr. Ben Mensah, had met the police to discuss the issue, saying: "Due to your actions the drivers are not working".

He also called on the drivers to maintain their vehicles regularly, so that the police and the driver could tolerate each other in their respective field of work.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Benjamin B. Bakonora in-charge of the Swedru District, did not comment on the matter, but referred the GNA to the District Commander of Police, who was not at his office at the time.

The strike nearly brought the day's work to a standstill, as the Agona Swedru - Akyem Oda bound mini buses could not be found at the lorry park.

Ms Edna Breko, a Store Manageress, told the GNA that the strike affected business and the movement of people since the few taxi drivers operating took advantage of the situation to charge high fares.

"I had to pay GHC1.50 to enable a driver send my child to school from Swedru Melcolm Store to the Salvation School at 'Power House".

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