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Gulu Business Community Send Buses to Save Students Trapped by Transport Hike in Kampala

James Onono Ojok, the Assistant Public Relations Officer of Gulu University, says that they have offered two buses of 67-seater capacity to pick up students from Makerere University and those stranded at Namayiba Bus Terminal in Kampala.
08 Jun 2021 19:57
Passengers throng Namayiba Bus Terminal as ahead of Wednesday closure of public transport - Courtesy Photo

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Gulu University, Ker Kwaro Acholi, the Acholi cultural institution and Guruguru Fraternity, a loose coalition of friends and business associates have dispatched four buses to rescue students trapped in Kampala following a spike in public transport fares.

Hundreds of students are struggling to travel back home following the closure of schools for 42 days as part of the measures to contain the spread of the second wave of the global Coronavirus Disease – COVID-19.

On Sunday, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni ordered the closure of all educational institutions, places of worship and suspended the public transport systems to combat the spread of the virus. Cumulatively, the virus has infected up to 53,961 people and killed 383 others.

The President’s directive, which took immediate effect on Monday, caused anxiety and panic in the public fearing that he could announce a total lockdown. As a result, hundreds of people decided to travel upcountry. This forced transporters to hike fares to make quick profits, which has affected learners returning home.

James Onono Ojok, the Assistant Public Relations Officer of Gulu University, says that they have offered two buses of 67-seater capacity to pick up students from Makerere University and those stranded at Namayiba Bus Terminal in Kampala.  

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Speaking to Uganda Radio Network, Ambrose Olaa, the Prime Minister of Kwer Kwaro Acholi revealed that swift mobilization by the partners was a good gesture towards saving humanity and ensure the safety of students from the prevailing situation.

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On Monday morning, buses were charging each passenger 60,000 Shillings from Kampala to Gulu and 80,000 from Kampala to Kitgum. By evening, the fares had increased from Shillings 60,000 to Shillings 80,000 and Shillings 80,000 to Shillings 100,000 from Kampala to Gulu and Kitgum respectively.

Today, the bus companies further hiked fares and each passenger was being charged 100,000 from Kampala to Gulu and 150,000 Shillings from Kampala to Kitgum as the travellers struggle to beat the stoppage deadline of public transport operations on Wednesday 10.

On Tuesday evening, Dr. Diana Atwine, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary announced that the Government has suspended the curfew restriction for all buses and taxis till Thursday, June 10th to allow transportation of students and other passengers trapped by the current transport crisis.

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