Zambia News

Transport Minister escapes attack by angry online taxi operators

Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali was nearly beaten by some angry online taxi drivers who got distressed after the Minister failed to address their grievances during a meeting discussing issues in the car hailing service sector held at Government Complex.

The confusion was characterised when the Yango drivers got displeased with Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali’s response to their petition over their grievances pertaining to the Yango application, where the drivers remained undermant to champion the agenda to increase prices, and resolve the protest of low prices by YANGO online tax drivers.

Most online taxi drivers had no kind words for Mr Tayali as they accused him of siding with Yango online taxi company hence, failing to resolve their concerns and others threatened not to vote for the United Party for National Development – UPND in 2026.

The drivers added that they feel neglected when they are part of the people that voted for change of government in 2021.
On the Minister’s advice that those who are happy with the conditions could leave the Yango application, the aggrieved drivers say they cannot leave the application as this is the only way they fend for their families.

“What kind of a Minister says we can choose wherever we want to go, we are suffering but his allowing Yango to do whatever they want, the Minister has failed us,” the angry online taxi drivers alluded with anger

This saw the whisking out of transport and logistics minister Frank Tayali as he failed to address the tax drivers and no resolution was made.

The angry taxi drivers attempted to charge at Tayali after the meeting ended but security and other ministry officials were quick enough to shield him from the attack before he was quickly driven away from the area.

The yango drivers have since asked the Minister to step down for failing to represent their interests and allegedly siding with a foreign company in Yango.

The Online Taxi Drivers Association was assured by the Minister that a legal framework was being worked on to bring sanity in the online taxi service
Meanwhile, during the meeting, Tayali told the online taxi drivers that some of their concerns were outside the jurisdiction of his ministry, further describing their recent action of marching to his office as uncalled for, adding that online taxi drivers should avoid being personal when addressing sensitive matters such as this.

Last week, some online taxi drivers staged a protest over poor working conditions.

And Mr Tayali advised online taxi operators to co-exist with hailing companies as the majority of people are benefiting from the fair prices.

“Its important that as Zambians, let us not use emotions, because using emotions will not take us anywhere, because people even went to the extent of writing to the President alleging that this Minister had an interest in Yango, and that letter was brought back to my Ministry, and everybody was even saying that Minister wasn’t going to respond to this letter and I said I will not respond to rumours and innuendos,” he said

And transport and logistics Minister Frank Tayali disclosed that progress has been made to enact the statutory instrument SI which will regulate online tax services provision as it is the only way to resolve the problem but this did not add any sugar to the angry drivers.

“What my Ministry committed, my Ministry shall do, the Legislative Framework, that Statutory Instrument – SI being worked on and will regulate everybody, will bring about a leveled playing field for everyone,” Mr Tayali said

Tayali further directed the online tax drivers to other line ministries and presented their petition but the directive was not heard and added more salt to the wound.

This came to light this afternoon at a meeting conveyed by RATSA to resolve the grievance between both parties but nothing positive came out.

Source: .lusakatimes

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