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Jul 5, 2012

Not enough gas in taxi protest

Former City Council employee Phillip ‘Faada’ Henry, who was recently granted a taxi operator’s license only to have it rescinded a few weeks later, led a charge against City Hall this morning by picketing in front of the Traffic Department.  Backed by a small gathering of operators whose license plates were also repossessed, Henry protested CitCo’s decision to effect a moratorium on the issuance of permits.  The problem, they are being told, is an over-saturation of cab drivers in Belize City.  According to Henry, while his and those of several others have been recalled, immigrants, who are relatively new to the country, did not get their license plates taken back.  Henry says that if there should be a bias it must be in favor of Belizeans.

 

Phillip ‘Fawda’ Henry, Protestor

Phillip ‘Fawda’ Henry

“As Belizeans we are not given the opportunity to drive a taxi and there are people from another country who are here, at this moment, who are carrying a valid taxi license on their car.  Yes they have removed some of those plates from some of those vehicles from the Haitians and the Nigerians but at this moment they are back out there running with taxi license plates and I know that it cannot be one person in the department making this happen.  It has to come from the top.  So we just want them to know that we are not fools.  Only fools break their own hearts and today that’s why Fawda is standing out here, wanting and asking the mayor back that they should grant us back our license plates because it was approved, our money was spent in there, we walked out with legal stuff.  We’ve never done anything corrupted to get those plates so the traffic manager hasn’t done anything wrong for us to get the plates; the councilor hasn’t done anything wrong.  I already understand that it comes from the mayor to remove our license plates.”

 

Cab driver Cornelio Daly, who cannot get a license for his own vehicle, told News Five that the council requested a letter from a taxi union to which he belongs but that the endless red tape involved is keeping back his efforts.

 

Cornelio Daly

Cornelio Daly, Taxi Operator

“I cannot get a license plate; however, I had cars before but they were all derelict.  I got a new one, came in to get a plate and they denied me.  They say they have to get a letter from the [taxi] union or the association.  I went to see them but they are lackadaisical or dormant or bad-minded or refused to give it so I cannot get it.  But yet there are people who do not belong to unions but got ten, fifteen and forty plates.  How come?  At my age who will employ me? I’m more than seventy years old now, who will employ me?  I have to be self-employed.  Nobody will feed me, nobody will take care of me so to deny me a license plate, to me it is very unfair.  Now they are saying that the taxi industry is saturated and if it is so is it because of the foreigners which [when] added on to the Belizean drivers which causes a problem, you see.  That is why I am concerned.  I want a plate.  I am trying to get a car.  At this moment I have to drive for someone else to make a living and this is very hard.”

 

News Five made several attempts today to get a comment from councilor Alifah Elrington-Hyde on the matter but our efforts were futile.  Meanwhile, Henry is in the process of planning a second demonstration in front of City Hall.

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2 Responses for “Not enough gas in taxi protest”

  1. Rod says:

    March my brothers march to the pm house no to city hall march to the pm house why are Haitians and Nigerians in Belize anyway who let them in this pm barrow let them in. Why just for votes pretty soon o belizean will have work march to the m house no more murders no more rapes no more corruption this ya pm must go resign barrow resign you are killing men women and children in this country all these murders are on your head no one else but you stay mute on crime.

  2. mtor says:

    ROD-
    It seems that for everything you blame the pm. If you have so much dislike and hatred for him- stop wasting your time posting comments- lead all the marches that you proudly encourage. I want to see you up front- leading all the taxi drivers, the teachers…

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