Truck drivers who are stuck at the Malaba border point, have said they will not meet any minister coming from either Kenya or Uganda but they want to meet Presidents of both countries.
The troubled drivers from Kenya said they want the two Presidents Yoweri Museveni [Uganda] and Uhuru Kenyatta[Kenya] to meet them at the border point and solve their issues amicably instead of sending security officers who ask for bribes from them.
The truck drivers’ issues started almost last month when reports from the Ministry of Health showed that almost the largest number of Covid-19 cases in Uganda were truck drivers from Kenya.
To reduce this, testing kits were stationed at the border points and they started testing drivers, however, the latter accused medical officers and local authorities of discriminating them and naming them coronavirus carriers.
Days later, President Museveni ordered that no truck driver was to be allowed to enter Uganda without a covid-19 test certificate.
However, this has caused traffic congestion at the border points due to the slow process of testing the thousands of truck drivers who want to enter the East African country.
The drivers are complaining that the slow process of testing is intentional by Uganda’s Ministry of health so as to prevent them from entering into the country.
“We buy everything from the community, why is that no case of Covid-19 has come out from the community? We buy things from shops, restaurants but there are no Coronavirus cases in restaurants. Police officers have been living with us without masks why are they not getting affected? All those are lies that we have Coronavirus,” the drivers said over the weekend.
They added, “We don’t need to see any minister from either country here, we only need to see president Uhuru and Museveni here, it seems people here at the border are on different missions and they are not willing to let us do our work, we have lost money. The only people to solve this problem are presidents, not ministers.”
However, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Dr Diana Atwine has said that truck drivers must be patient.
“We also see what they are going through but we have nothing to do, we are here to protect our people. The delay is there yes but that is what we have, we have few testing centres, tests are done from the border and samples are brought to Kampala, and we can not bring one sample, we have to transport many of them so there is a delay. But soon we are putting machines at the border and I hope this will solve the delay problem,” she said while on an interview last week.
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