COVID-19 CRISIS: SAFETY OF UGANDANS FIRST- BLOCKING UGANDA-KENYA BORDER NOT ABOUT TO END.
By Goodluck Musinguzi
Uganda-Kenya border is closed for the 3rd day to trade after Kenyan Truck Drivers decided to block Busia and Malaba entry points protesting delayed testing for Coronavirus.
Uganda’s health Ministry officials advised the President of Uganda to stop trailers from entering Uganda because the positive cases were getting in contact with Ugandans.
The Ugandan government decided to set up laboratories at the border posts to help get results quickly and reduce on transport costs of samples. However, the Kenyan drivers want to use the older method of being tested but get results while in transit.
Kenyan drivers are telling of untold suffering after being told to wait for 4-6 days, they dont have enough food but chances of being infected is high.
Kenyan Truckers Association decided to engage Ugandan and Kenyan officials on day two only to end in a stalemate.
Uganda sent low ranking team which angered the drivers insisting that meeting President Museveni or Kenyatta is all they want.
The Prime Minister of Uganda Rt Hon Dr Ruhakana Rugunda set up a sub committee on Transport and Trade led by Ministers Gen Katumba Wamala and Amelia Kyambadde of Transport and Trade respectively.
However the duo are facing a crisis they have no immediate answers. They head a sub committee on transport and trade of the National Covid-19 task-force but their hands are tired.
A source says Ministers Gen Katumba Wamala and Amelia Kyambadde have little say on this matter. Ministry of Health top officials were not available for comment as they were attending manifesto week at OPM.
Conrad Nkutu, Managing Director at Morgan Tally says Kenya needs to improve on their testing capacity.
“No wonder Malaba is in crisis: Kenya Govt does only temperature tests then issues Covid19 negative certificates to truck drivers without carrying out nasal membrane swab tests. A nonsense has been made of presidential decisions”.
Nkutu has been following this issue of Uganda-Kenya border with passion, he gave an update on day two which is being quoted by media.
Malaba Update: The Kenya truckers association today met Kenyan & Ugandan officials. Uganda Govt sent a low seniority team. The talks reportedly achieved nothing.
The truckers demand a meeting with President Museveni or President Kenyatta. Deadlock continues. Border blocked for 4th day. Truck pile up is 12 km long in Uganda, 50 km long in Kenya.
The Kenyan truck drivers are protesting multiple Covid testing, 2-6 day border delays, crowding, no food, terrible sanitary conditions, mistreatment by Uganda Police.