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Looming protests over Malaba border traffic congestion

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[KTA CEO Dennis Ombok. Photo/Ahmed Omar].

Long distance truck drivers have threatened to paralyse all transport activities at the Kenya-Uganda border at Malaba over long queues witnessed in the area.

They say the Covid-19 testing delay is a plan to congest the highway so that containers are parked at Naivasha inland depot and ferried by SGR to neighouring Uganda.

Kenya Transporters Association CEO Dennis Ombok said they will mobilise their members to leave their trucks on the road hampering road transport between the two countries.

“There has been a huge traffic of trucks at the Busia-Malaba border occasioned by Covid-19 testing delays. The government says is out of testing kits” Ombok said.

He said the traffic that has extended over 80 kilometres by Monday has been as a result of challenges at Covid-19 testing centre.

Ombok stated they are being frustrated by the Ugandan government to provide Covid-19 certificates and they are not getting any response from the Kenyan government leaving them with no option.

He called on the concerned ministry to move with speed to address the issue at the Covid-19 centre affecting drivers before they result to demonstrations.

The Association’s Chairperson Roman Waema condemned the incidences happening at the Malaba border saying drivers are suffering with nowhere to go.

Empty promises 

He said the government has gone against its will to offer the youth employment opportunities in the transport sector in the name of fighting Corona.

He wondered if Corona is only with long distant drivers since other sectors of the economy have resumed including PSVs.

“The government asked drivers to buy smart phones for them to receive tests results in time. It now takes over 10 days to receive the test results,” said Waema.

He said the drivers are now tired and will anytime strike.

Civil Society groups led by MUHURI Chairperson Khelef Khalifa and Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid condemned the incident and tasked the government to amicably address the truck drivers suffering.