Police have said four roads in the capital Kampala will be inaccessible to motorists when swearing-in of 529 Members of Parliament-elect starts today. The affected roads are Parliament Avenue, Dewinton Road, Siad Barre Road and King George VI Way.
“There will be diversions in areas surrounding Parliament: Parliament Avenue will be cut off at Kimathi Avenue, King George VI [Way], Siad Barre and UBC (Uganda Broadcasting Corporation) roundabout,” Mr Norman Musinga, the Kampala Metropolitan traffic police commander, noted in a May 15 statement. However, traffic on the busier Kampala and Jinja roads will not be interrupted.
Police said MPs-elect will access Parliament via King George VI Way and be dropped off at the main (southern) gate and their chauffeurs will proceed to park at the National Theatre.
After taking oath of office under marquees in the southern parking yard of Parliament, the new legislators will exit through the eastern gate to board their parked cars at the National Theatre and exit through Dewinton Road.
“MPs are strictly allowed to use one vehicle,” Mr Musinga said.
In the public notice, he added: “Anyone who violates the traffic rules and regulations will be dealt with in accordance with the [Traffic and Roads Safety Act 1998], law.” Last week, Parliament informed MPs-elect to ensure that no more than three people accompany them to the swearing-in venue, except persons with disabilities, who will be granted one extra slot for an aide.
The restrictions on numbers, which contrasts with more vibrant swearing-in ceremonies of the past, has been necessitated by Covid-19 and Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedures to contain the pandemic.
No vehicle will be allowed to park near Parliament and police will tow away cars of errant motorists to Central Police Station Kampala parking yard at “owner’s cost and inconvenience,” Mr Musinga noted. The traffic re-routing will be in place until Thursday.