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Truck drivers protest substandard UNRA Weighbridge

By Wilson Asiimwe

Added 6th August 2016 12:16 PM

He said that at times they are asked to pay huge sums of money by the officers manning the weighing scale in Kasese.

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Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Executive Director Allen Kagina

He said that at times they are asked to pay huge sums of money by the officers manning the weighing scale in Kasese.

Truck drivers from Kenya, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo have protested the Uganda National Roads Authority weigh bridge in Kasese which they say is substandard.

On Friday, the drivers packed all their trucks at Kikorongo along the Kasese-Mbarara highway blocking the road for several hours in protest of the weigh bridge, which they claim is substandard and must be removed.

All the trucks from Tanzania and Congo were parked in Katunguru and the drivers left them there for several hours halting transport along the busy road, some vehicles from Mbarara were forced to go back while others offloaded their passaengers and left them stranded.

The truck drivers asked Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA to standardise weighbridges across the country. They accused UNRA of using different weighing scales, which they claim affects their operations.

"UNRA is using deferent weighing scales, because when you leave Kenya and enter Uganda all the weighing scales clear you but when you reach Kasese after having been cleared by over six weighing scales, the Kasese one reads different figures and we are forced to pay money," said Kule Abas a truck driver.

He said that at times they are asked to pay huge sums of money by the officers manning the weighing scale in Kasese.

"We have written several letters to UNRA over the conduct of their staff, but they have been so silent. Through our association of truck drivers we have decided to pack all our trucks until, UNRA comes up and explains," added Kule.

Fred Mwesigye another truck driver said the failure to standardize the weighbridges also inconveniences them especially during the transportation of perishable agricultural produce like bananas.

He said their trucks are sometimes impounded unnecessarily at some weighbridges due to lack of standardisation.

"Some of the officers at the weighbridge sabotage our business deliberately simply because they want to be bribed and when we don't pay them they become harsh to us and impound our vehicles," said Mwesigye.

"We want the UNRA top management to intervene because we are being cheated, some of our colleagues are running out of business due to the lack of standardised weigh scale used in Kikorongo," said Francis Bwambale the head of the truck drivers association.

He said that they have on several occasions called for meetings with UNRA officials to bring the matter to their attention but they don't turn up.

When NewVision contacted Mark Ssali the UNRA spokesperson he referred us to Rauben Tumwebaze, the head of the weigh bridges who did not return our calls.

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