Kayunga Produce Farmers, Traders Protest Ban on Free Movement of Trucks

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Traders loading tomatoes on truck at Maligita trucks parking yard located at Kangulumira, Kayunga District.

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Produce farmers and traders in Kayunga district are protesting the ban on the free movement of trucks in the district, saying it is affecting the transportation of their produce.

Recently, the Kayunga District COVID-19 Task Force Chaired by the Residential District Commissioner Margret Kikomeko Mwanamoiza restricted the movement of foreign trucks in the district as part of the Covid19 prevention measures. The task force designated Kaligita Primary School playground in Kangulumira Sub County as a collection centre for produce, where it would be picked by the truckers. 

Previously, over 50 trucks from Kenya, DR Congo and South Sudan would ply several areas in Kayunga collecting fresh produce including pawpaws, pineapples, tomatoes and maize among others.

At the moment, James Magunda, a farmer from Bbaale Sub County, says he is unable to transport pineapples on Bodaboda to the produce collection centre. He says that he requires about Shillings 30, 000 to transport pineapples worth Shillings 50, 000 using a Bodaboda to Kangulumira Sub County from Bbaale, which is about 70 kilometres away.  

//Cue in; “Tetugenda kukiriza kunyigiriza…  

Cue out…kukiriza kubeerawo”// 

Solomon Muzaana, another trader notes in some areas where roads are flooded, they need to offload the produce and across and load again on Bodabodas. 

//Cue in; “Ffe tukolera Nazigo…  

Cue out…maduuka g’ abantu”//    

Musa Otieno, a truck driver notes that parking at the designated area wouldn’t be bad but it takes them many days to collect the required produce yet it is perishable.

John Lukooto, the Kayunga District Police Commander, says they have learnt of a plot by some farmers and traders to strike, saying they won’t hesitate to arrest those involved.    

//Cue in; “How do we…

Cue out…amidst the community.”// 

Mwanamoiza appeals to the traders and farmers to remain calm, saying this is a temporary arrangement that is for their protection from infection. 

Tom Sserwanga, the Kayunga District Chairperson has offered to provide the road equipment to rehabilitate the road from Kaligita to Jinja and to Gayaza road.