PIC: Gagaa buses staff during prayers at Gaaga Bus Terminal, Arua Park in Kampala on Saturday. (Credit: Geoffrey Mutegeki)
GAAGA BUSES BACK ON THE ROAD
When problems occur most people believe that the best solution and solace is by praying to God. Pray to God for mercy, blessings and protection.
Prayer works; and this is what the management of Gaaga Bus has resorted to.
On Saturday ahead of their expected return on the road the management invited well-wishers and prayer worries from all religious denominations to pray for the buses and all the passengers and drivers for God's protection against accidents. The prayers were held at Gaaga Bus Terminal in Arua Park, Kampala.
They also prayed for the bereaved families and those that were injured in accidents.
"I still feel the pain when I hear the bust has overturned and the lives lost. We can't explain why these accidents and that is why we are here to pray for mercy from God," said James Nyakoni, the Gaaga Bus Company Managing Director.
Buses belonging to Gaagaa have in the past been involved in a number of fatal accidents, with a major one on May 25 claimed 22 lives and left 15 others nursing injuries.
The 22 were killed when a Kampala bound bus hit the rear of a tractor before colliding with an oncoming truck in Nanda village in Kiryandongo district.
"Someone may blame the tractor driver, but how many vehicles bypassed it before our bus hit it? That is why we need devine intervention," Nyakoni said.
The prayers were also meant to celebrate the lifting of the suspension of the license for Gaaga bus service by Transport Licensing Board (TLB). The company services were suspended for one month over a number of issues.
Government lifted a ban on the company on August 2, after its drivers completed refresher course and the company fulfilled the set of preconditions set by the Government.
The buses will hit the roads again on Monday August 6, 2018.
"Out of 47 drivers, 42 were taken for a refresher course and all qualified. Two were disqualified, while the three who were involved in the accident are still under investigation and were not involved," Nyakoni said.
Leonard Bakecura, one of drivers says although the ban was harsh on them it helped them reflect and get a refresher course.
"For the last 23 years of my driving I had never had this course yet there are new things that have come up. Accidents can be avoided but the blame shouldn't always be on bus drivers but all the other drivers and should also be taken for refresher courses," Bakecura said.
Dada Raymond Obi a passenger said prayers alone will not work if the driver are still reckless on the road.
"If driver drivers drive responsibly, respect traffic rules and roads signs we shall see change. But praying alone wil not work," Obi said.
Rev Sam Erema said the prayers are not only for Gaaga Buses but all the other buses on the road.
"We have prayed on all the black spots along the northern route and still praying for other routes for God to intervene. Before any journey people learn to pray," Erama said.
He noted that accidents are a devil's work and thus need serious prayers from the God's children.
Over 2,000 people are killed each year according to the Uganda Police Traffic department.