Ivan Acaye, the Manager Kitgum Branch Makome Bus Services Ltd told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Wednesday that all their buses have been grounded until after the elections.
Services Ltd has temporarily suspended its operations ahead of the presidential
and parliamentary elections. Makome Bus Services Ltd plies the
Kitgum-Gulu and Kampala routes with a fleet of 13 buses.
Ivan Acaye, the Manager Kitgum Branch Makome Bus Services
Ltd told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Wednesday that all their buses
have been grounded until after the elections. Acaye says they took the decision
to ensure that more than 100 of its staff participate in the elections.
“We have temporarily grounded our buses in Gulu, Kitgum, and Kampala from traveling. We want to ensure that our staffs exercise their rights to vote
without affecting their work,” says Acaye. He notes that the buses will resume
operations most likely on Sunday.
He said their decision is not related to speculation of
violence in during and after elections, saying that they have voters who needed
to express their constitutional rights of voting. But one of the staffs who
didn’t want to be named told URN in an interview that management grounded the
buses for fear of the likely outbreak of violence in the coming days.
“The measure taken was to protect the business and safety of
staff. There have been several reports of alleged violence breaking out in
Kampala city after this election and the management feels it’s safe to suspend
transport services until the environment is safe again,” he said.
Unlike Makome Bus Services, other bus companies in Kitgum
Municipality playing the Gulu-Kampala route haven’t grounded their fleet. They have however reported a reduction in the
number of passengers accessing the bus terminal.
For instance, staffs of Homeland Bus Company who didn’t want to be named told
URN that business has been very poor since Monday as few people are willing to
travel out of the district. She fears that they may be also forced to halt their
operations on Election Day due to the absence of travellers.
Mary Adokorach, a resident of Kitgum Municipality, says she had to suspend her
travels on Tuesday for work to Kampala over the fear of the volatile
situations. “I have seen videos circulating on social media of army men patrolling
the area; it shows a signal that the situation may not be ok on Election Day
and even after. I will travel next week when all is clear and well,” Adokorach
told URN in an interview.