The Kenyan Truck Drivers Union says it has suspended all movement of lorrys and their drivers to Uganda until Kenya Government negotiates an end to their “mistreatment” in Uganda.
The Union cited COVID-19 stigma and harassment as one of the challenges they face while in Uganda.
The Union’s General Secretary Nicholas Mbugua spoke of unbearable humiliation drivers were subjected to in Uganda due to COVID-19 stigma.
Mbugua said if drivers continue going to Uganda before the COVID-19 stalemate is resolved, it will create a deeper crisis and endanger the lives of Kenyan drivers.
He called for suspension of all trips until the Kenyan Government negotiates with Uganda, saying that drivers are being coerced by Kenyan Authorities to cross Malaba border only for them to continue suffering.
“There is no safety agreement reached between the Government (Kenyan Government) and their Ugandan counterparts. Drivers are being coerced by Police officers to cross over to Uganda. We demand our lives’ safety,” said Mbugua.
In Uganda, truck drivers are banned from accessing lodgings and must only stop at designated points.
This decision was taken by the Government of Uganda in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country after the number of cases rapidly increased.
The rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in Uganda was being fueled by foreign truck drivers who were testing positive for COVID-19 while in the country.
However, President Museveni later ordered that only COVID-19 negative foreign truck drivers be allowed entry into Uganda.