Business in the transport sector in Kampala remained low for the second
day in the aftermath of Tuesday explosions in the city.
Following the bomb explosions, businesses were hastily closed and
people forced out of the city centre.
The transporters say that the panic due to the bomb explosions has
affected the number of passengers accessing the City centre.
URN reporters in Kampala saw a few commuter taxis and private
motor vehicles. Unlike other days when there is congestion of pedestrians, on
Wednesday, the streets were uncharacteristically free of the usual early
morning traffic congestion.
Bus and Taxi operators said it was obvious that the blasts had
scared many people away from the city.
Nelson Ssekandi the Manager Namayiba Bus Terminal said that they
registered a big shortfall of passengers on Tuesday.
“On Tuesday, only 20 buses out of the more than 50 bus companies
that operate in Namayiba bus terminal, went out of Kampala, yet Mondays,
Tuesdays and Fridays are our peak days,” says Ssekandi.
He however added that he expects that the industry will stabilize
after more than one week as passengers gain confidence returning to
“The incident has happened when even the passenger flow was low
due to COVID-19 and this incident of the bomb blast worsened the situation”
Lambert Kairirizi, an official from Link Bus Company, says that by
the time of the explosions, they hadn’t hit their targeted numbers for the day,
and this affected their daily sales. He however declined to give numbers of
average sales for Tuesday but confirmed that Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays
usually present the highest turnover.
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Kairirizi says they are trying their best to heighten security,
including checking every passenger entering the bus.
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A taxi operator, Noordeen Mukuye, says that there was a low turn
up of passengers. He worries that the
sudden slowdown in business has coincided with a sharp increase in fuel prices
as well as the low numbers still arising from the Covid 19 effects.
Mukuye also noted the increase in fuel prices which is costing
them so much financially yet they can’t increase the transport fares and now
the bomb blasts which is also taking its toll on their finances.
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At the New Park, all the entrances were not manned by security
personnel. Inside the park, only a few tax stage managers had deployed
hand-held metal detectors for checking passengers.
Rashid Ssekindi Chairman of Uganda Taxi Operators Federation
admitted that there are loopholes in security at the park, but also the fact
that many taxis are operating outside the parks since the Old Park is still
He said that they have embarked on sensitization campaigns for the
taxi operators and leaders in the parks on how to intensify vigilance, while he
also appealed for police deployment in the parks.
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Boda-boda riders said that as some businesses and government offices
remain closed, their business has also been affected.
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Jimmy Matovu, a Boda Boda cyclist is getting more worried about
the future of the industry, as most security reports indicate that the
suspected criminals use motorcycles for their operations.