Drivers have opted for alternative routes in the areas of
Masese, Bugembe and Mpumudde to easily access Jinja city’s central business district.
While updating the country on the status of covid19 on
Friday, president Yoweri Museveni suspended all public transport means for a
period of 42 days. However, some drivers and motorists alike are evading
highways and opting for hidden routes, where there is less security
deployment to ferry passengers to their work stations.
Factory worker Abdullah Munira says that, this new arrangement warrants him
to trek for over eight kilometers from his home to the factory, which is time
consuming. “I supervise casual laborers in one of the factories where I am
expected to arrive at 8:00am, but, if I walk to work, I will spend close
to three hours on the road, therefore, a boda boda ferries me for a distance of about six kilometers and I handle the remaining two on foot,” he says.
Joy Mutakubwa, a retail shop operator says that, although
she has used public transport for the first two days of the lockdown, it has been
costly to foot the bills. “I used to spend 2,000 Shillings as my daily transport to
Jinja town, but, the amount has increased to 8,000 Shillings, which is posing a big
challenge to my meagre profits and I might resort to walking just like most
people are doing,” she says.
Kiira central’s acting police commander, Mourice Niyonzima
told journalists on Sunday that, they carried out a crackdown on adamant drivers
between Saturday evening and Sunday morning where close to 38 vehicles, whose
occupants lacked documentation warranting their travels, were nabbed.
Other vehicles owned
by utility service providers, which ferried excess passengers were also impounded, although most of their illegal passengers abandoned their transporters and fled.
The commander adds that the suspects will be charged with disobeying rightful
orders and engaging in acts likely to cause the spread of a dangerous disease.