Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Home > Counties > Busia > Truck drivers face heavy traffic jam

Truck drivers face heavy traffic jam

Truck pile-ups have continued to be witnessed along the busy Eldoret-Malaba highway since Sunday, with heavy traffic jams from the Kimaiti junction, 15 kilometres away, to the Malaba One Stop Border Post (OSBP).

Long-distance truck drivers have expressed dissatisfaction with the system that has always been the cause of the snarl-up at the stretch, urging the government to upgrade to digital scanners to speed up the business between the East African communities and beyond.

Kenyan customs officials at the Malaba Post said the long jam was attributed to a system upgrade on the Uganda side.

Led by Mutisya Tavitha, the truck drivers expressed their concerns while addressing the press in Amagoro on Sunday.

“We are told the system is being upgraded on the Ugandan side of the border. We are not opposed to that, but the Ugandan authorities should have found an alternative to prevent us from encountering the suffering we are undergoing,” said Tavitha.

They now want a lasting solution to the constant trucks piling up, along the Northern corridors of Malaba and Busia in conformity with the East African Protocol that entails a smooth flow of goods and services.

His sentiments were echoed by Titus Karani, who claimed some officers at the customs office demand money from drivers to expedite clearance, while some businessmen in Kenya also influence the existence of artificial snarl-ups to boost their trade, urging Kenyan President William Ruto and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, to convene a meeting to address these teething challenges facing long-distance truck drivers.

Another driver, Kasamba Suleiman, who was transporting a container from Mombasa to Kampala, urged the two countries to come to their rescue to enable them to continue with their journey to their desired destinations.

“We have not taken a bath for two days, and food is hard to come by. If you want to eat, it forces you to spend Sh. 200 to hire a boda boda to send food from Malaba, Uganda,” he said.

The worst jam that lasted several weeks was witnessed in January 2022, with traffic stretching over 70 kilometres following a protest by Kenyan truck drivers over Uganda’s move to implement mandatory COVID-19 testing at its border and impose a charge of $30 for the test.

Although Uganda suspended the testing, the traffic jam created by the drivers’ strike took more than a week to clear.

By Absalom Namwalo

Leave a Reply