border authorities have expressed concern over the increasing number of people
who sneak into the country illegally in order to avoid paying for the
Coronavirus (COVID-19) test.
the immigration, travelers, truck drivers, students and tourists pay US$50 (sh185,000)
for a COVID-19 test before they are allowed to enter Uganda.
to Peter Magara, the Mutukula Immigration Officer, the majority returning to Uganda are complaining about the exorbitant fees for testing. He
says they are struggling to convince people to pay for the test so as to
travel conveniently but some have failed to comply.
August, government through the Ministry Of Health introduced the COVID-19 testing
fees and people were meant to pay US$65 (approximately sh240, 500).
the fees were slashed last month to US$50 (sh185,000), Magara says the majority
still claim they cannot afford it which forces them to use the ungazetted
entry points. He
noted that such tendencies may increase infections in Uganda since its neighbour
Tanzania did not observe any Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
in: “It’s a challenge……….
out:………even the businessmen.”//
further says that they are keen since the number of people
entering Uganda is increasing gradually since the border reopened on October 1,
adds that they currently receive an average of 20 and 150 people every day .
in: “Before the COVID……..
out:…….120 to 150 people.”//
Uganda Radio Network -URN
spoke to Ugandans operating small businesses in the No Man’s land on Tanzania
who said they rather use other avenues to sneak into the country than paying
the USD50 which can be used to add to their stock.
to Simon Kakande, people prefer using porous borders where they can bribe
police or security operatives than paying such exorbitant fees.
in: “Yekenyini wakukwatira eri……
out:…………………eza Covid nyingi.”//
appealed to the ministry of health to reduce the testing fees to at least
Ugx30,000 which is fair and affordable to reduce cases of people who resort to
illegal means to sneak into the country. He
noted that there are some people who directly use the help of border security
officers to avoid paying for the test which also exposes the country to more
in: “Nekilala waliwo abantu……
out:…………………kyebava bakola ekyo.”//
Medard Nabimanya, the Border security officer, says those who are arrested are brought
back and tested. Those who are negative are left to go, while the sick are referred to Masaka treatment centre.
to Maj. David Matovu, the Kyotera Resident District Commissioner, they are
working with the army to intensify operations along porous borders to arrest
people who sneak into the country illegally. The COVID-19 testing fees were introduced for people
seeking the services including individuals seeking to know their status, truck
drivers at all points of entry. Others are people seeking COVID-19 certificates for