The United Bus Owners Association (UBOA) has said it will lay down its tools on Friday if Government doesn’t lift the ban on the operations of Gaagaa Bus Company.
The ministry of Works and Transport through the Transport Licensing Board (TLB) on July 16 suspended the license for Gaagaa Bus Company for one month over a number of issues.
Buses belonging to Gaagaa have in the past been involved in a number of fatal accidents, the latest being the one on May 25 at Coperlwor in Katulikire in Kiryandongo District in which over 20 people died.
Mr Winstone Katushabe, the TLB Secretary is reported to have said that the board sat and decided to suspend the company’s licence for a month until a number of issues have been rectified by the company.
“The company drivers must go through a refresher course to ensure they are capable of steering a 67 passenger vehicle before they resume their duties.” Mr Katushabe said.
However, the UBOA chairman Mr Nathan Byanyima has said that Gaaga Bus ban affects them all and has compromised transport to and from Northern Uganda.
“What happened to Gaaga happened to all of us. We are a family. What hurts Gaaga, hurts us also and hurts all Ugandans. TLB has been inconsiderate, very harsh on us and we feel we cannot continue like this. If they do not lift the ban, by Friday we shall put our tools down,” Mr Byanyima affirmed.
He was backed by Joseph Mabutu, the Deputy Secretary General UBOA who said that bus drivers are not the only ones who get involved in accidents.
“Compares accident statics and see which accidents are more. Are they by Boda bodas? Taxis? Or buses?” he questioned.
However, the spokesperson of the ministry of Works and Transport Ms Susan Kataike defended the ban saying that Gaaga Bus’ license was suspended to allow TLB investigations.
Consequently she asked them to be patient as the investigations will be done by Monday July 30, 2018.
“If they put down their tools, transport will be paralyzed within the country and that is something that we would not desire to see. I am asking them to wait for the ministry to finish investigations. They are being done to ensure that we have the right buses and drivers on the road,” Ms Kataike said.
This is not the first time the company’s licence is suspended after a similar thing happened in 2012.