Log in
Free: The Observer Mobile App - Exclusive Content and Services

Namugongo drivers reap big from transport ban

Public transport was banned in the country in the wake of a coronavirus outbreak

Public transport was banned in the country in the wake of a coronavirus outbreak

The president's restriction on public transport; prohibiting taxis and bodas was quickly turned into a winning lottery by private car owners and boda bodas in Kira town, Namugongo, Wakiso district. 

Since March 28, taxi drivers evading the presidential directive (at risk of being arrested) more than trippled the fare charges. Before a total presidential ban on private transport on Tuesday this week, private cars were allowed to carry up to a maximum of three people including the driver.

However, President Yoweri Museveni said this had been abused, with the private car owners charging desperate travellers exorbitantly. For instance, passengers who couldn't walk from Kira town centre to Kireka, a 10-minute drive, were charged Shs 5,000 each, which is five times the normal charge. On the same route, boda boda riders, who previously used to charge Shs 3,000, have hiked to Shs 7000 or 10,000.

Given the high risk of being intercepted along the way, drivers often asked the passengers to pay forehand. A combined enforcement personnel of police, local defence and army has been on the lookout for defiant drivers since last Saturday.

Most of the big mobile money shops in Kira centre are closed, giving chance to the small agents in the kiosks. These agents charge at least Shs 1000 for every transaction, including deposits that previously used to be free of charge. 

Comments

0 #1 Kalitunsi 2020-04-01 11:04
And now ambulances and government vehicles will begin. To charge heftily for their services to ferry desperate people. It just never stops.

People will always improvise especially when desperate. I've seen masses of people walking from the surroundings of urban areas, long distances all close to each other, breathing on each other.

How exactly is this safer than public transportation?
Report to administrator
0 #2 Kabayekka 2020-04-02 20:02
One wants to ask exactly what sort of modern public transport is there to ban in these Uganda cities and towns?
Report to administrator

Comments are now closed for this entry