Following President Museveni’s approval of resumption of public and private transport in selected border districts where Covid-19 cases haven’t been registered yet, transporters this morning woke up ready to return to work in these districts.
In the new guidelines that Museveni issued last night, private vehicles will be allowed to carry only four passengers, including the driver.
Public transport vehicles were permitted to carry half the normal number of passengers, in order to maintain social distancing as they travel.
In Kabale town however, the public transport resumed at double the cost.
Jane Musimenta, a businesswoman from Kabale town who was planning to travel to Rukungiri District expressed concern over increase of fares, saying she intended to travel with all her family but resolved to go alone.
“Initially travelling to Rukungiri from Kabale was Shs 15, 000 but now it has been hiked to Shs 30,000. I have three children who must pay the same amount. I have chosen to leave them behind” Musiimenta said.
Mugisha Patrick, who was travelling to Mbarara from Kabale town called on government to intervene, saying they have been in lockdown and have no extra money to pay for the increased fares.
“We’ve been in lockdown since the month of March, not working and now the fares have been doubled, where shall we get the money to pay?” Mugisha said.’
Muhwezi Justus Katabazi, the Chairperson of Kabale Taxi Operators Association revealed to our reporter that they resolved to double the transport fares, since the president directed them to carry half of capacity of their vehicles.
“We met today morning and resolved to double transport rates as we implement presidential directives. From Kabale to Ntungamo Is Shs 30, 000, Mbarara is 40,000” Muhwezi said.
By noon time, at least nine taxis had left Kabale town enroute to Mbarara, according to Mutabazi.
He added that passengers will be requested to present national identity cards before they travel to help them know their passengers well.
“We shall first ask passengers to present their identity cards. If we get a stranger, then we shall hand him/her over to health authorities for management” Mutabazi said.
All districts in Kigezi sub region are among other border districts in the country where public and private transport was permitted to resume.