Blocking cargo transport is unnecessary and suicidal -Museveni

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President Yoweri Museveni; PPU Photo

President Museveni has ruled out the option of blocking cargo truck movement in and through Uganda as unnecessary but also suicidal.

The president’s statement comes amidst controversy over movement of cargo trucks which has lately proved to be a major contributor in the spread of coronavirus.

All recent confirmed cases of coronavirus in Uganda are imported mainly by cargo truck drivers entering through land borders.

“Cargo movement has to continue because it is part of the planned survival system, and to interfere with cargo is suicidal.” Museveni said in a televised nation address delivered on Tuesday evening.

Museveni said he is aware of the public anger towards cargo drivers, but without alternative safer and effective means of transport in the region, blocking cargo haulers will severely affect production and the economy at large.

“The measures in place have been done in a calculative way however radical they may be. Anger should not eclipse your reasoning. I appeal to you to swallow the anger and do not stop cargo because it is suicidal” Museveni said.

He said he had an engagement with regional leaders and agreed to develop a common strategy to handle cargo drivers including testing drivers twice if the health officials deem it necessary.

President Museveni said it is possible to control drivers and contain the spread of the virus.

He said government will come up with stringent measures to handle the issue of truck drivers including permitting only one driver per cargo truck, and ensuring drivers take rest only at designated points not in hotels as has been the practice.

He said monitoring systems will be improved across cargo movement routes and he has directed that women whose livelihood depend on transactions with cargo drivers will be supported to abandon the trade.

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