More than 2000 travellers spent Thursday night in city Taxi and Bus parks across Kampala due to curfew
restrictions. According to the officials of Namayiba Bus Terminal, USAFI and New
Taxi Parks, hundreds of travellers couldn’t get transport means to their
destinations because of a few vehicles on the road.
travel because of hiked transport fares. New Taxi Park had the biggest number
of stranded travellers with more than 940 people, Namayiba more than 550 and
Usafi more than 100. Other travellers spent the night in Kisenyi Bus terminal
and other parks around the city.
Most of the travellers were
heading to upcountry destinations such as Jinja,
Iganga, Kamuli, Mayuge and Kaliro districts. The travellers comprising mothers,
children, old women and expectant women braved the Thursday night cold in Parks.
Moses Kisambira, a labourer on a farm in Wakiso district said he arrived in the park on Thursday to travel back home because
the lockdown found his boss in the village and he no can longer pay him. Kisambira
told URN he decided to return home where he can access free food, adding that
he is determined to stay in the park until he gets a taxi to Iganga.
//Cue in; “nazze jo…
Cue out “…paka lwenajja”//
Matilda Aguti, who was stuck in Namayiba Bus Terminal,
told URN that she arrived in the park as early as 6 am but failed to secure a
bus to Teso. She spent the night in the park braving the cold.
//Cue in; “Embeera yabadde mbinyo…
Cue out… tetwafunye kyakulya kyona.”//
Fatuma Namangu, who is nine-months pregnant also, spent the
night in the New Taxi Park. She said that she was working on a farm in Luweero
but decided to return to Mayuge district for delivery.
She was, however, still
stuck in New Taxi Park without any possibility of either returning to Luweero
or going to Mayuge because of hiked transport fares.
//Cue in; “Naviridde Luweero genda…
Cue out… nengamba kanfulumemu”//
Ben Kikomeko and his wife were also stuck in
the new taxi park. They told URN that they had decided to return to Buyende
district from Kitalya in Wakiso where they have been working as housekeepers
after being sacked by their boss during the lockdown.
//Cue in; “twatusewo sawa…
Cue out…obuzibu wembufunide.”//
Godfrey Kitone, a mobiliser in New Taxi Park,
said more than 500 of the more than 940 passengers who are stuck in the park
are destined for Eastern Uganda particularly Busoga region. No taxi made it to
the park on Thursday.
“Taxis plying the Jinja route particularly
Busoga region by yesterday had not been registered. The few that attempted to
come into the Park without route charts were impounded. We are not sure whether
they will come in today to save the situation,” Kitone said.
Brian Ssenyondo, the Namayiba Bus Park publicist, said the
more than 550 passengers were stuck in the park because buses were directed to
carry half of their capacity to enforce social distancing. Ssenyondo explained that once it clocks 2 p.m,
they stop loading passengers and ask them to return to their respective
He said only a handful of travellers could make it back to their
homes leaving the majority to spend a night in the Park.
//Cue in; “Ekyabadewo jo, abantu…
Cue out…kumpi agende.”//
Several taxi operators are yet to resume work because of the
ongoing registration exercise by the Works Ministry
and Kampala Capital City Authority –KCCA. The registration is aimed at
streamlining public transport in Kampala.
Taxi operators are required to fill a registration form detailing their
name, National Identity Card Number and the KCCA City Operator Identification
Number and attach a copy of the vehicle logbook or a sales agreement, a copy of
the driver's license, proof of PSV tax payments and details of the taxi owner.
taxi will be assigned a route chart and number.
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.