By Prime Rose
Transport operations were paralysed on Monday at the tourist town of Ukunda and Diani after Tuktuk drivers went on strike on leaving commuters stranded on the Likoni-LungaLunga highway.
Traders who rely on Tuktuk to ferry their goods were left with no option but seeking the services of BodaBoda operators who made killing out of the situation.
The Tuktuk operators said that they are against the increased fuel price by the national government which is affecting their business.
They said that despite the rise in fuel price fare charged to commuters remained the same, a move that is affecting their work.
According to the operators every stage should be charged a fee of 50 shilling in disregard of how far or short the distance is from the current 30 shillings.
The protest saw Tuk tuk drivers parking their tuktuks along the road in attempt to block and discourage their colleges from carrying passengers to work.
Those who defied the protest order were literally blocked by their colleagues and forced to let go their customers.
This is after majority of tuktuk drivers continued working on their routes despite an early memo being released.
Irate crowd of Tuktuk drivers was dispersed after some caused damages of those who did not join the strike.
One affected driver said, “Some of the members managed to crack my side mirror as they attempted to force my passengers to alight from the moving vehicle. I am employed to drive this tuktuk and my bosses will not understand”.
He said that he will be forced to pay for the damages to repair the Tuktuk despite making too little a day due to bad economy.
Naomi Michira, a frustrated commuter said, “At the end of the day, what will they gain? If no money is made on the road, then it is just a day wasted.
They can implement new prices without going on strike by notifying the commuter before they board.”
However Ukunda Tuktuk Owners Sacco leader, Chimera Mwamunga declined to talk to the media stating that no strike has been approved by the authority.
Ndengwa addressed the TukTuk members promising to look into the issues raised and requested their co-operation in seeking solutions.
Tuktuk owners said that they should be allowed to strike for three days in order to have their issues addressed.
“We are suffering under the pressures of the economy, ” said Munari Michira Tuktuk driver.