Security forces block plan of ferrying border travellers

Saturday June 6 2020

A taxi loads passengers at Mpanga Stage in Fort

A taxi loads passengers at Mpanga Stage in Fort Portal Town on Thursday morning. PHOTO BY ALEX ASHABA 

By ALEX ASHABA & FELIX BASIIME

Security agencies in Kabarole District together with the Covid-19 taskforce have foiled a plan allegedly hatched by some taxi drivers to ferry passengers from border districts to Fort Portal Town.

Public transport in border districts was prohibited for another 21 days from June 4 to curb the further spread of Covid-19. This affects 40 border districts including Kasese, Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Kagadi, and Hoima that connect by road to Fort Portal in western Uganda.

On Thursday, public transport across the country was reopened with a condition of following standard guidelines that included carrying half the capacity of the vehicles, but some taxi drivers operating in Fort Portal Town had allegedly plotted to transport passengers from some border districts using private cars.

This plan, however, hit a snag after the security team in Fort Portal held a meeting with some taxi operators who disclosed the plot.

The Kabarole Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Mr Festus Bandeeba, on Thursday said: “In the Rwenzori Sub-region, the border districts still in the lockdown of public transport include Ntoroko, Bundibugyo and Kasese. We are cautioning all the drivers not to risk going to those districts to transport passengers .”

He cautioned the drivers to wait until the lockdown is lifted. “We have got a list of private vehicles from the border districts that have been planning to transport passengers to Fort Portal Town and hand them over to taxi and bus drivers that ply the Kampala route. We have already put in place security to keep monitoring them,” Mr Bandeeba added.

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The Kabarole District Police Commander, Mr Faustin Oese, said those who have plans of transporting passengers at night would be arrested because the curfew time remains in force.

He said all taxis and buses would be required to only load and offload passengers in designated places.
Mr James Agaba, a taxi driver on Fort Portal-Kasese road, said many passengers are stuck in some border districts yet they are not residents of those area.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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