House demands stringent action on lawless road users

The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has tasked law enforcement bodies to bring errant drivers to book, in light of an incident in Kagadi district where a 25-year-old Magezi Tuhaise was knocked dead by a government vehicle.

The Speaker who was chairing the plenary sitting reported the incident, which occurred when residents of the district were holding a peaceful demonstration on the poor state of roads, on Tuesday, 27 February 2024.

“This driver of an LCV vehicle could not afford to respect these people. It is so unfortunate and that kind of impunity should not continue in this country,” said Among on Wednesday, 28 February 2024.

AUDIO: Hon. Among

A recording of the accident has been shared widely on social media.

Hon. Janepher Mbabazi (NRM, Kagadi District) said the driver of the vehicle has since been arrested and Police is carrying out investigations into the matter.

She also called on the Ministry of Works and Transport, and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to expedite works on the road for which the demonstration was being held.

“This road has been a pertinent issue in Kagadi. The 42km road cuts through many sub-counties in the district but it has never got any attention. After this incident happened, UNRA deployed equipment to work on the road this morning,” said Mbabazi.

AUDIO: Mbabazi

The State Minister for Works and Transport, Hon. Musa Ecweru, said the Ministry will present a statement on the state of roads in the country after a harmonisation meeting with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.

“A lot of work has been done by this Parliament to allocate resources for road maintenance but the tragedy is that money is not coming through to the sector for that purpose. That is why we need the Prime Minister to harmonise us then I make a presentation that gives hope to colleagues,” said Ecweru.

AUDIO: Ecweru

Legislators also made a call for a firm stand on all vehicles that have illegal sirens embedded in them.

Hon. Dan Atwijukire (NRM, Kazo County) recounted an incident of bad driving by a road user, which was not addressed even after he reported the matter.

“Every minute you get on the road, you are pushed off by people claiming right of way. A double cabin [vehicle] belonging to Ministry of Science and Technology pushed and scratched my car. I reported this matter to Police and nothing has been done up to now,” said Atwijukire.

Hon. Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA, Bugiri Municipality) noted that Police recently issued directives and had begun arresting owners of vehicles with illegal sirens.

“The issue is not that people do not know that they are not supposed to have sirens but the issue is impunity. If we do not address impunity as a country, the guidelines will be issued and nothing will happen,” Basalirwa said.

AUDIO: Basalirwa

Hon. Fredrick Angura (NRM, Tororo South County) called for strict enforcement of traffic fines on errant road users which he said will go a long way in improving the country's non-tax revenue.

Minister Ecweru also committed to give report on categories of persons entitled to right of way in the country.