Despite carrying at full capacity, the operators have doubled the fares. For instance, from Mbale to Soroti which was 10,000 Shillings, the fares have increased to 15,000 Shillings and 20,000 Shillings.
Travellers in Eastern Uganda have accused taxi operators of
charging them exorbitantly and violating the COVID- 19 Standard Operating
In March last year, President Yoweri Museveni banned the use of
public transport following the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic. The ban was
lifted in June but on condition that the public transport operators adhere to
the Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs.
The SOPs included wearing of face masks by both the operators and
the passengers, use of hand sanitisers. Taxes and buses were also directed to
carry half of the required capacity to ensure social distancing to minimize
However, the transport fares doubled. Despite carrying at full
capacity, the operators have doubled the fares.
For instance, from Mbale to Soroti which was 10,000 Shillings, the fares
have increased to 15,000 Shillings and 20,000 Shillings. Transport from Mbale
to Kampala has increased from 20,000 Shillings to 30,000 or 40,000 Shillings.
Raymond Wasukira, a passenger who was travelling to Bududa says they are
charged highly by the taxi operators yet they are crowded in the taxi, putting
their lives at risk of contracting and spreading the covid-19.
//Cue in: “E'sente zili wagulu….
Cue out:…olusi bana”//
Julius Wasukira, another passenger on the Mbale -Bududa road says that the traffic
police should enforce the directives.
//Cue in: “Ositula abantu kumi namukaaga…
Cue out:...amateeka ga pulezidenti”//
Shafi Bashir Mbanja, the publicity and general secretary of Mbale
Taxi, Drivers, Conductors and Owner’s Association says that what the taxi
operators are doing is illegal. He however cautioned the passengers against travelling
in vehicles that are carrying excess passengers.
Cue in: “Mbasaba babele bakakamu…
Cue out:…babili babili”//
Rogers Taitika, the Elgon Region Police Spokesperson, says that they have
impounded several vehicles and arrested drivers defying the presidential
Kirinya Ayubu is the URN Bureau Chief of Elgon/Bukedi Sub Regions . He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Islamic University in Uganda and a Diploma in Computer Science and Information Technology from the same University.