Ntungamo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than fifty cargo truck drivers and their turn-boys are stranded at Mirama hills border post in Ntungamo district. Most of the truck drivers say they have spent between two to three weeks at the border after being denied entry into Rwanda.
Umar Jamal, a Kenyan truck driver says Rwandan authorities have set tough conditions for their clearance. They are required to swap their trucks with local drivers stationed at Nyagatare inside Rwanda to deliver the cargo to its final destination and deployed heavily to control their movement as some of the measures to control the spread of coronavirus disease.
Karim Bagaaga, truck driver says that most of the trucks handed over to Rwandan drivers have crashed in accidents while those who manage to cross the border are forced to drive at an unusual speed.
According to Bagaaga, their bosses have stopped them from swapping their trucks. Abdullah Yase, another truck driver says they are facing lots of challenges since they were stopped from crossing.
Umar Ali Muhamed said they were tested for COVID-19 at Malaba border in Uganda before continuing with their journeys. He says that those who were found to be positive have already been intercepted by Ugandan authorities.
George Bakunda, the Ntungamo Resident District Commissioner blames the challenge of cargo trucks at the border on the stringent measures imposed by the Rwanda government. He however said they are engaging the Rwandan authorities to resolve the stalemate.
Milton Rahuka, the South Western Region Customs Operations Manager denies claims that the truckers are stranded and attributes the problem to the new policies introduced by Rwanda to contain the spread of Covid-19.