BUNGOMA-MALABA CRISIS

Truckers protest Uganda 'harassment', block highway

Demand assurance from Preisdents Kenyatta and Museveni that abuse in Uganda will end.

In Summary
  • Residents of Bungoma abandoned their cars in Malaba border town.
  • PSV transport between Malaba and Busia town disrupted as cargo trucks have blocked access to junction connecting to the Malaba-Busia road.
A long queue of long- distance trucks along the Amagoro-Malaba highway.They protest 'harassment' by Ugandan authorities.
TRUCKERS' STRIKE: A long queue of long- distance trucks along the Amagoro-Malaba highway.They protest 'harassment' by Ugandan authorities.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

@eosere

Bungoma-Malaba transport has been disrupted after striking truckers blocked the highway to protest against 'harassment' by Ugandan authorities.

The road was blocked on mid-Thursday as drivers began their work stoppage. They said they were protesting against harassment and discrimination by Ugandan authorities as they ferry cargo to Kenya's neighbour.

The alleged discrimination stems from measures to control the spread of the coronavirus.

PSVs on the Bungoma-Malaba route have been forced to detour at Kimaiti before connecting to Angurai and Malaba. Kimaiti is 30km from Malaba town.

Travellers have been forced to pay higher PSV fares.

Cargo trucks lined up in four lanes, completely sealing off the Bungoma-Malaba highway between Malaba and Amagoro, a distance of seven kilometres.

Some travellers between Malaba to Bungoma have been forced to use boda bodas.

Truckers demand assurance from President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni that what they call the constant harassment they receive while in Uganda will stop.

There was no immediate official comment from either country.

Boda boda riders on Thursday charged travellers from Malaba to Bungoma Sh500.

Bungoma residents with personal cars abandoned them in Malaba border town.

PSV transport between Malaba and Busia town has also been disrupted as cargo trucks have cut-off access to the junction that connects to the Malaba-Busia road.

 

Boda boda operators exploited the situation but expressed solidarity with truck drivers saying no one should be treated inhumanly, whether or not they are coronavirus positive.

“Museveni should tell Ugandans that we are East Africans and this calls for all of us to treat each other with respect,” boda boda rider James Omuse said. He plies the Malaba-Angurai route.

“I have not heard of any Ugandan driver who has been mistreated in Kenya whether they have the virus or not. Respect is important.”

The drivers’ strike comes two weeks after Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers Association secretary general Nicholas Mbugua called on Kenyan drivers to stop going into Uganda.

On May 6, Mbugua said Kenyan truck drivers are denied access to basic needs such as food, water and accommodation once they enter Uganda, making it difficult to transit and deliver cargo.

(Edited by V. Graham)

The trucks have completely sealed-off the usually busy highway. Only boda boda riders and pedestrians can move.
PROTEST: The trucks have completely sealed-off the usually busy highway. Only boda boda riders and pedestrians can move.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE