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Officers Storm Arua Town to Enforce Ban on Public Transport

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Christopher Barugahare, the West Nile Region Police Commander, said they won’t comprise on the President’s directive, saying the officers are under instructions to confront whoever acts to the contrary.
Gun and Stick wielding security personnel patrolling Arua town streets to enforce ban on public transport on Thursday.

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There was chaos in Arua town on Thursday when a combined team of uniformed police officers and plain clothed men stormed the streets armed with sticks to enforce the presidential ban on public transport in a bid to curb the spread of corona virus.    

Dozens of armed police officers backed by stick wielding men combed all corners of the town canning Boda boda rider carrying passengers in disregard of the presidential ban on public transport. The security officers also ordered the closure of shops selling nonfood items.    

Christopher Barugahare, the West Nile Region Police Commander, said they won’t comprise on the President’s directive, saying the officers are under instructions to confront whoever acts to the contrary. He says the enforcement and regular patrol will be maintained until the elapse of the 14 days’ ultimatum.

 

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The ban on public transport has resulted in increased transport fares in Arua town. Private vehicles carrying three persons have increased charges from Shillings 7,000 to 25,000 from Arua to Koboko, Shillings 30,000 from 10,000 from Arua to Nebbi while those moving to Kampala from Arua are charged Shillings 150,000 each.

However, Safi Alema Tiyo, the Chairperson Arua Boda boda Association, says the total ban on the transportation of people by Boda bodas may increase insecurity in homes as idle riders may resort to theft to meet their daily needs.  

“I have come to the police to sees if we can forge a way forward because most of the Boda bodas are now idle since there are not much goods to carry other than people,” said Alema. According to Alema, if the ban is upheld to the fullest, it could breed more problems as many of youth used to the Boda boda business may become poor and needy.

Several people were stranded at Arua hospital gate as the security moved to decongest the hospital to avert the possible spread of the corona virus. On Wednesday, Dr. Philbert Nyeko, the Director Arua Regional Referral Hospital announced that they would start discharging patients and only allow those in dire need of assistance with one attendant each.

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