President Museveni says Transporting cargo with trucks is irrational, railway and water transport are better options and will truck driver cases.
President Museveni has hinted on substituting transportation of cargo by road for water and railway means of transport as a measure to reduce truck driver cases.
This comes at a time when the country has registered nearly 40 COVID-19 cases from foreign cargo truck drivers via particular border points of entry.
Yesterday, the health ministry confirmed a total of eight new COVID-19 cases. Out of these six were from the 2,061 samples tested for truck drivers transporting cargo into the country.
While addressing the nation on Monday, President Museveni admitted that the issue of truck drivers has properly displayed the dangers of using lorries for transporting cargo.
Museveni said that despite looking cheap and easier to use, road transport when transporting cargo is inappropriate because it is less secure and now with the increasing COVID-19 cases from truck drivers this has provided more proof.
Appropriately, Museveni explained that it is cheaper and even safer to use alternative means of transport including railway and water especially in countries that have access to them.
He said that applying these forms of transport is more favourable because there is limited theft of cargo, spreading of diseases is minimal and as well there are no worries of damaging the roads.
“The matter of the truck drivers has exposed the irrationality of using lorries for transporting cargo. It is cheaper and safer to use the railway and water transport where they are available,” Museveni said.
“So there is every reason to get rid of these lorries,” Museveni added stating that Uganda in future will look into adding more efforts in railway and water transport.
Museveni however, said that for now, it would be suicidal to stop the movement of cargo trucks because alternatives like the railway are still being worked on.
He said that transportation of cargo is a very essential aspect just like farming, manufacturing and construction and cannot be stopped because it puts many people’s lives at stake.
“Farming, manufacturing, construction, transport of cargo and essential services must continue operating despite the circumstances,” Museveni said.
“The majority of these spared sectors of the economy have been moving well. We only got a problem with interstate cargo transport.”
As a way forward, Museveni added that he has already engaged his East African counterparts to have the matter streamlined and come up with a solution.
Meanwhile, he said that he will also engage his South Sudanese (Salva Kiir) and DR Congolese (Félix Tshisekedi) counterparts.