Mukono, Uganda | URN | Truck drivers at the designated stopover centre in Kyetume, Mukono district have protested payment of parking fees. The government designated the Uganda Railway Corporation inland container depot and cargo as the stopover point for the truck drivers in transit.
Trucks have been parking in the area for close to two weeks at no cost before management of the centre introduced parking fees of 180,000 to 360,000 Shillings per night depending on the size of the truck.
For two days now, trucks at the centre have been restricted from continuing with their journeys until they pay the fees causing protests from the drivers. The police and Local Defence Unit-LDU personnel were deployed to calm the angry drivers.
Abubaker Musiho, the Mukono Division Police Commander says that the majority of drivers were not aware that they had to pay the parking fees. Amos Gituri a driver from Kenya questions why management is introducing an abrupt charge without informing the drivers.
Another truck driver Henry Muheri says they have been using Mutukula facilities freely wondering why they are made to pay at the Mukono centre.
The bond manager Ambrose Mugasha declined to explain what prompted them to introduce the parking fees. The Mukono Residential District Commissioner Fred Bamwiine notes that the matter is being addressed.
Last month, the Minister of Trade and Cooperatives put in place stopover centres for truck drivers in a move aimed at fighting the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Under the new arrangement, truck drivers are supposed to rest and refresh at the centres before continuing with their journeys. The centres are manned with security and medical personnel.