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Touts Frustrate Enforcement of Inter-Districts Travel Ban in Kyotera

Robert Ggaliwango, a Bodaboda cyclist at the Nkoni stage in Lwengo district says that several touts have been deployed to attract passengers who wish to cross into other districts regardless of the restrictions. He says that the touts sneak passengers into hidden taxis, before embarking on their journeys through porous routes.
The Intercepted Taxis parked at Masaka Central Police Station

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The presence of taxi touts along major routes and stages in Masaka and Kyotera districts is frustrating the effective enforcement of the inter-district travel ban, one of the measures announced to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections.

At the beginning of this week, security officers erected barricades on all roads connecting between districts, to stop the back and forth movement of people, as directed by President Yoweri Museveni, at a time when COVID-19 rates were increasing, stretching health systems across the country.

Despite the presence of police on the roads, people have for various reasons continued to cross through Masaka, Kyotera and Lwengo districts, by the use of taxis, some of which carry nearly up to their passenger loading capacities. A number of people are seen disembarking from taxis at different stages in Kyotera and Masaka districts, after meandering through the different porous routes to their destinations.

Robert Ggaliwango, a Bodaboda cyclist at the Nkoni stage in Lwengo district says that several touts have been deployed to attract passengers who wish to cross into other districts regardless of the restrictions. He says that the touts sneak passengers into hidden taxis, before embarking on their journeys through porous routes.

Patrick Jjagwe, another Bodaboda cyclist from Lwengo district blamed the security enforcement teams for mainly focusing on major routes, giving the offenders an opportunity to violate the guidelines. Jjagwe is afraid that if it remains unchecked, the conduct of taxi operators will worsen the COVID-19 infection rates in the country.

//Cue in; “nze mu ndoowoza eyange…

Cue out…bitundu by’eyo.”// Emmanuel Kato, the Chairperson of Bukunda Bodaboda stage, located in Kyotera district says that they are equally concerned about the conduct of some taxi operators but, they  do not have the capacity to reign over them.

He has appealed to the enforcement teams at the respective districts within Masaka sub-region, to take action by ensuring that the stages are cleared of Taxi touts, who are directly facilitating the violation of the inter-district travel ban. According to him, people would find it difficult to move beyond their districts, if they don’t find someone willing to sneak them out.

//Cue in; “ekintu kino eky’abakulu bano…

Cue out…eyo bwebatyo.”//

Hajji Moses Ddumba, the Kyotera Resident District Commissioner says that enforcement teams have started expanding their operations to remote community access roads, but also faults the public for aiding the irregularities that increase their risks of contracting the virus.

//Cue in; “ebimu tebyewalika…

Cue out….n’ebitundu ebirala.”//

Records indicate that by Thursday Kyotera district had 442 COVID -19 positive cases from 2,000 samples, Masaka had 176 positive cases, while Lwengo had 36 positive cases all registered in the second wave of infections.        

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