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Kenyan truckers stranded at Mirama border

Truckers stranded at Uganda-Rwanda border. Courtesy photo

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.



One comment

  1. Ok.
    Measures to control the spread of covid-19 are appreciated, but and however, in this age and dispensation of regional markets and global trade, one would hope that harmonization of procedures and measures to curb such pandemics are adopted at a regional level in the spirit of brotherhood and promotion of trade.
    Sincerely, truckers are lifeline to landlocked economies and go through a lot of difficulties to deliver much needed cargo to recipients in landlocked countries and this fight against covid-19, they shouldn’t be stigmatized, since they are not willing carriers but are as a result of occupational hazards and so so should be assisted.
    Remembering that they too have personal and family relationships and obligations just any of us.

    It’s high time that regional leaders walked the talk and not hinder regional cooperation, even in hard times as these.

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