Truck Drivers at Kyetume in Mukono Stop Center Protest Parking Charges

Truck drivers at Kyetume village stop Center in Mukono District have protested payment of parking fees at Uganda Railway Corporation inland container depot and bond warehouse.

The government designated the place for long route cargo truck drivers in transit to stay before continuing to their final destinations.

Trucks have been parking in the area for now two weeks before the depot management introduced parking charges ranging from dollars 50 to 100 approximately between shillings 180, 000 to 360, 000.

For two days now trucks coming to the depot have been restricted from continuing with their journeys for failure to pay parking fees which has prompted the drivers to protest demanding for free exit. About 200 trucks are still contained at the depot.

Police, local defense unit-LDU and army officers have been deployed at the depot to suppress the angry drivers.

The Mukono Division Police Commander Abubaker Musiho says as they wait for the government to intervene their only role currently is ensuring that drivers stay inside the depot premises to avoid mixing with locals.

He notes that majority of drivers are diverted to the depot an aware of the parking fees and once they enter cannot be allowed to get out.

Amos Gituri a driver from Kenya says the arrangement for sleeping at the depot was introduced by the government and many trucks have been parking at a free cost wondering why the management is introducing an impromptu charge.

Another truck driver Henry Muheri says they have been using Mutukula facilities freely wondering why it is only at this center that they are charging. He notes that they have been locked in the premises without food.

Derrick Owino another driver reveals that they communicating with their colleagues who are currently at the border points to halt movements to avoid landing in similar challenges after entering Uganda.

The bond manager Ambrose Mugasha has declined to explain what prompted the introduction of charges. Recently, Uganda Radio Network visited the place were and the management complained of delayed disinfection of the place.

Joachim Kizza who heads the health team at the facility notes that the increasing numbers of truck drivers testing positive to Covid-19 and are only intercepted in transit, there is a need to disinfect the depot whenever trucks set off in the morning but the place lack disinfectants.

Over 50 drivers share the same bathroom at the depot but remain disinfected while as causal workers who also do the general cleaning of the place are also unprotected and simple cleaning weighs on the place management.