Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A cross section of residents of Entebbe Municipality are unhappy with the new directive requiring the Residential District Commissioners and their deputies to issue travel permits for only a day.
The Minister for the Presidency, Esther Mbayo told RDCs and Deputy RDCs on Monday that they should give permission for people to travel with private means on condition that they will sort out emergencies before the curfew hour of 7pm .
Mbayo said this will help limit movement and eliminate large gatherings as one of the precautionary measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus .
However, some of the residents from Entebbe Municipality who flocked the office of the Deputy RDC Hajji Njuki Mbabali, oppose the directive.
A 36 year-old man who did not want his name disclosed told Uganda Radio Network (URN) on Tuesday that he was dismayed to hear such a directive. He said earlier Njuki had given him a travel permit for three days on Saturday and now with the new development this cannot happen.
The 36-old man says he was given another travel permit for only today on Tuesday and yet his expecting wife may have an emergency after the travel permit has expired.
John Kasozi, another resident, a businessman fell victim of the new directive. Kasozi said he needed permission to transport his grandmother for dialysis at Kiruddu hospital. Since Saturday, he says he has been tossed at the RDC’s office.
However when he was given the travel permit, it was only for a day and yet he is worried that there will be several patients at the dialysis centre. Uganda has only two dialysis centres at Kiruddu and Mbarara hospitals.
Kasozi was angry that he could not be able to even take his grandmother to and from hospital before being caught by curfew. This is mainly because he got the travel permit at 3 pm and yet he had been at Njuki’s office from 9 am. He vowed to defy the directive.
However, the Entebbe Deputy RDC, Hajji Njuki Mbabali says he can only issue permits for a day. He explains that the minister Mbayo issued the new directive because several people misused the travel permits.
He estimates that close to 300 people call or flock his office daily seeking for travel permits. Njuki says he can only give a few people permits because President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni banned public and private transport to ensure people stay home, observe social distancing among other precautionary measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.
To address Nuwamanya’s worry, Njuki says security officers should not stop pregnant women from going to hospital whether they have or do not have permits.