The action began late Thursday afternoon, when more than 500 motorcycle taxi drivers, concentrated in Largo das Escolas, to discuss the ban on driving on the capital's main avenues and roads, were dispersed by the police, who upon arriving at the scene carried out some shots were fired, according to videos circulating on social media.
Speaking to the Lusa agency, 47-year-old motorcycle taxi driver Paulo Ramos, who participated in the meeting, explained that they intended to reach a consensus on the steps to follow in light of the ban imposed by the Provincial Government of Luanda, opting to dialogue and "then hit the door of those entitled to it".
"Unfortunately there was no such contact, after the situation that occurred yesterday [Thursday] we ended up being dispersed and were unable to maintain contact again for further steps. I still don't know during the day what the next step will be", he said.
According to Paulo Ramos, who has been a motorcycle taxi driver for more than ten years, due to lack of employment, the objective is to have a meeting with the governor of the province, for more details on the measures now applied and what solution they can offer to professionals.
“We depend on this work for our livelihood", he stressed in his statements to Lusa.
One of the authorities' arguments for implementing this measure has to do with the high rates of road accidents involving these means, with 300 deaths recorded in the first quarter of this year.
Paulo Ramos recognizes the number of accidents, but says that “the measure is not the most appropriate”, because “the majority depend on this work for their livelihood”.
"I think there was a lack of dialogue between the government of the province of Luanda and the motorcycle taxi drivers, there should have been a dialogue and we should be informed about the inconveniences that we have caused to the city of Luanda and beyond, and together we can find a more viable way to minimize the situations that have occurred", he said.
Lusa has tried since Thursday to hear from the police, but without success so far.
According to Paulo Ramos, there is no record of arrests or any other situation involving participants in this protest, which for some time caused unrest among citizens and disruption to traffic at the end of business hours.
Asked whether there is control over the number of motorcycle taxi drivers in Luanda, Paulo Ramos said that it is difficult to predict the number, highlighting that in Thursday's gathering there were more than 500 motorcycles.
Paulo Ramos stressed that the majority of motorcycle taxi drivers are not members of the Association of Motorcyclists and Transporters of Angola (Amotrang), remembering that more and more members are joining this class "for circumstantial reasons", to overcome the economic difficulties that the country is going through .
"Amotrang only has control over a limited group of bikers and the majority are not included within this association, and at no time do we feel the presence of Amotrang when we have other situations in our daily lives (…) we think that Amotrang is not going to solve our problems", he highlighted.
The Provincial Government of Luanda announced, for this afternoon, a meeting with trade associations to evaluate the traffic management measures announced this week.