Passengers show up at bus, taxi parks despite travel ban

Monday June 14 2021
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Taxis and travellers at the New Taxi Park before the inter-district travel ban took effect last Thursday. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA

By ESTHER OLUKA

Passengers continue to flock bus and taxi parks even after the ban on public transport across districts took effect on June 10.

President Museveni prompted the ban as a way of containing the spread of coronavirus.

On Saturday, at about 11am, we visited Namayiba Bus Terminal and found six passengers sitting inside a waiting pavilion. One of them, a middle-aged man, later said despite the ban on inter-district movements, he was desperate to travel to Mbale, after the deadline date caught him in Kampala where he had come to seek medical treatment.

“Imagine being stranded in Kampala for 42 days doing nothing yet my family is in Mbale. I would not mind staying here, but then I don’t know anyone in the city,”  he said.

“I came here (to the bus terminal) to see whether there is some kind of way of traveling back home. There was a man who approached me earlier saying he had a pickup and that it was possible to take me to Mbale. He asked me to pay Shs200,000. I told him I did not have that money and he walked away,” he added.

A guide at the terminal, who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity, said they have continuously chased away passengers making their way to the terminal.

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“The only people we want here are those coming to pick up or send items to respective destinations. People should listen to the President and stop coming here,” he said.

There was only one bus on sight belonging to Jericho Company, which only had two staff members loading items inside it. Meanwhile, at the New Taxi Park, majority of taxis that operate on long routes were packed. 

Mr Ismail Kaddu, a taxi guide at the Fort portal Stage, said although there was hardly any business, he still showed up to see if there was any work he could do in order to earn some money. 

Mr Kaddu said passengers continued showing up at the New Taxi Park.
“On Saturday morning (June 13), one woman showed up here asking whether there was a vehicle going to Lyantonde District, my colleagues laughed and then urged her to start following the news,” he said.  

The inter-district directive will be observed for 42 days from the date of implementation.

Ban on transport
 The police force last week said they would mobilised the army, local defence unit personnel and local vigilante groups to enforce the inter-district public transport. 

According to the security plan, they have mobilise more than 500 armed and non-armed personnel per district to carry out the enforcement.

On average, a district police command has 200 police officers, who work in two shifts a day. This means at least 100 officers are on duty every 12 hours.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com 

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