Truck drivers on Kenya-Uganda border on strike against compulsory COVID-19 testing

Truck drivers of Uganda boycotted the Ugandan authorities because they made the compulsion of COVID-19 testing.

From Saturday, January 1, no truck has crossed into Uganda from Kenya and crossed the Malaba crossing point.

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Truck drivers have been on strike from the time when the Uganda government introduced mandatory COVID-19 testing for truckers. Whether or not they have already their negative report of COVID-19.

According to some drivers, they faced an issue when they tried to cross the border. They always demanded fresh COVID-19 testing and did not accept their testing certificates and always said one thing to truckers that these reports were fake. New testing is high in cost for truckers. It cost them 30 dollars, which is not affordable for truckers.

Further driers said that Ugandan officials simply stamp the ‘fake’ Kenyan COVID-19 certificate and allow it in once the payment is made. Once they crossed the border, Ugandan police officers still demanded a certificate of their COVID testing report.

Another problem Ugandan truck drivers are facing is that the government reduced the validity of their COVID-19 test certificates. Earlier validity of their test was 14 days, but now they changed it and made it use under seven days.

Truck drivers who drive through Uganda and spend more than a week are forced to pay again for their testing in which they have to stand in huge lanes of the truck and have to test themselves again and pay 30 dollars again.

According to the East African Community (EAC), members agreed that drivers who have been tested negative in any states which came in under the EAC region could show their certificate of COVID-19. The validity is also the same as 14 days.

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According to Osia, talks with the Ugandan government have not taken fruit because immigration and health officials on the Uganda side demand implement the new government.