Taxi drivers of border districts defy covid-19 restrictions, are using porous routes to operate

President Yoweri Museveni suspended the use of all public means of transport including boda boda, taxi and buses in 40 border districts to curtail the spread of coronavirus. Some of these districts include Isingiro, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, and Rubirizi among others.

However, some drivers from Ntungamo, Rukungiri and Isingiro have devised ways of defying the ban by using routes commonly known as panya.

Julius Tushabe, the Officer in Charge of Traffic Isingiro district says that the porous routes are common in the area. He however says that they have tasked officers to start patrols and apprehend those defying the guidelines.

Herbert Muhangi, the Isingiro Resident District Commissioner says that all the porous routes are now known to security and whoever is caught will be charged.

Milton Kahtsi, chairperson Mbarara taxi park said that most drivers from Isingiro dodge security checkpoints and use shortcuts to get to Mbarara.

He said drivers from Isingiro use Mwizi, Rwentango, Kyera and Kakoba routes and those from Ntungamo and Rukungiri cross to Mitooma and use the Ishaka Bushenyi road to access Mbarara.

A driver from Isingiro who preferred anonymity says that he is forced to use the porous routes to make some money and look after his family.