Fight for N$26 taxi fare postponed to April

Steve Nashama

The Namibian Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) president, Werner Januarie says he does not need a Lawyer to fight for the 100 percent taxi fare increment, which would see taxi customers dishing out N$ 26 per trip.
January confirmed to the Windhoek Observer that the union’s court case, which includes the legality of taxi permits amongst others was on Monday postponed to the 3rd of April this year, without the union’s legal representative.
The union’s leader says he is not comfortable with the postponement of the case while he was not rightfully informed about it and was only made aware of the postponement when he went to attend, hoping for a hearing.
“I am disappointed and I have deep concerns about the Judiciary’s weakness. My biggest issue is interference from the judge. I don’t think if this is a sustainable way to handle democracy. You won’t get justice where you are supposed to get it”, he said.
In a damning revelation, Januarie claims the matter was postponed to allow for the Presiding Judge to squeeze evidence into their document.
“Let the judge squeeze their evidence,” he said.
He claims he feels neglected because of the manner in which the case is being handled. Some of the issues relating to the postponed court case are already highlighted and incorporated in the documents, he says.
Last month, the union pushed for the demand of a 100 percent price increase, days after the Ministry of Mines and Energy made an announcement about the increase of petrol.
Januarie says It has been about two to three years since they last received a price increase, while the cost of fuel continues to increase, adding that the request for a 100 percent increase is fair.
He further indicates that there are many other factual activities forcing the union to push for the price increase including the cost of vehicle general services which, he says increases regularly, people transporting without the necessary documents and required transport permits, paying for permits, paying for an additional cost at the City of Windhoek and the cost of NaTIS.
In an earlier interview with this publication, Januarie said they were never informed or consulted before the government announces fuel prices.
He considers the matter to be of public interest to which all citizens are concerned, adding that the rest of the information will come later after the court case.
Januarie urges all members of the union, public members and the media to keep an eye on the date of the court, which is on the 3rd of April this year.

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