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More Than 2000 Passengers Spend Night in Taxi, Bus Parks

Moses Kisambira, a laborer on a farm in Wakiso district, said he arrived in the park on Thursday to travel back home because the lockdown found his boss in the village and he no can longer pay him.
Passengers heading to Eastern route stranded in New Taxi Park

Audio 5

More than 2000 travellers spent Thursday night in city Taxi and Bus parks across Kampala due to curfew restrictions. According to the officials of Namayiba Bus Terminal, USAFI and New Taxi Parks, hundreds of travellers couldn’t get transport means to their destinations because of a few vehicles on the road.

Others couldn’t travel because of hiked transport fares. New Taxi Park had the biggest number of stranded travellers with more than 940 people, Namayiba more than 550 and Usafi more than 100. Other travellers spent the night in Kisenyi Bus terminal and other parks around the city.

Most of the travellers were heading to upcountry destinations such as Jinja, Iganga, Kamuli, Mayuge and Kaliro districts. The travellers comprising mothers, children, old women and expectant women braved the Thursday night cold in Parks.

Moses Kisambira, a labourer on a farm in Wakiso district said he arrived in the park on Thursday to travel back home because the lockdown found his boss in the village and he no can longer pay him. Kisambira told URN he decided to return home where he can access free food, adding that he is determined to stay in the park until he gets a taxi to Iganga.

 

//Cue in; “nazze jo…

Cue out “…paka lwenajja”//  

Matilda Aguti, who was stuck in Namayiba Bus Terminal, told URN that she arrived in the park as early as 6 am but failed to secure a bus to Teso. She spent the night in the park braving the cold.

//Cue in; “Embeera yabadde mbinyo…  

Cue out… tetwafunye kyakulya kyona.”//

Fatuma Namangu, who is nine-months pregnant also, spent the night in the New Taxi Park. She said that she was working on a farm in Luweero but decided to return to Mayuge district for delivery.

She was, however, still stuck in New Taxi Park without any possibility of either returning to Luweero or going to Mayuge because of hiked transport fares.     

//Cue in; “Naviridde Luweero genda…   

Cue out… nengamba kanfulumemu”// 

Ben Kikomeko and his wife were also stuck in the new taxi park. They told URN that they had decided to return to Buyende district from Kitalya in Wakiso where they have been working as housekeepers after being sacked by their boss during the lockdown.  

 

//Cue in; “twatusewo sawa…   

 

Cue out…obuzibu wembufunide.”//    

Godfrey Kitone, a mobiliser in New Taxi Park, said more than 500 of the more than 940 passengers who are stuck in the park are destined for Eastern Uganda particularly Busoga region. No taxi made it to the park on Thursday. 

“Taxis plying the Jinja route particularly Busoga region by yesterday had not been registered. The few that attempted to come into the Park without route charts were impounded. We are not sure whether they will come in today to save the situation,” Kitone said.

Brian Ssenyondo, the Namayiba Bus Park publicist, said the more than 550 passengers were stuck in the park because buses were directed to carry half of their capacity to enforce social distancing.  Ssenyondo explained that once it clocks 2 p.m, they stop loading passengers and ask them to return to their respective residences.

He said only a handful of travellers could make it back to their homes leaving the majority to spend a night in the Park.   

//Cue in; “Ekyabadewo jo, abantu… 

     

Cue out…kumpi agende.”//

Several taxi operators are yet to resume work because of the ongoing registration exercise by the Works Ministry and Kampala Capital City Authority –KCCA. The registration is aimed at streamlining public transport in Kampala.   

Taxi operators are required to fill a registration form detailing their name, National Identity Card Number and the KCCA City Operator Identification Number and attach a copy of the vehicle logbook or a sales agreement, a copy of the driver's license, proof of PSV tax payments and details of the taxi owner. Each taxi will be assigned a route chart and number.