The Business Community in Jinja City and Buikwe District has petitioned parliament demanding for immediate lifting of the travel suspension between the two areas to ease the business operations, accessibility of health services and others services.
According to petitioners, following the inter-district travel suspension by HE the president of the Republic of Uganda effective 10th June 2021 for 42 days to curb the spread of COVID-19, many residents from the neighboring Buikwe District have been affected because they are barred from accessing their businesses and workplaces located in Jinja City.
In the petition presented by Forum for democratic change (FDC)’s Hon.Batuwa Timothy Lusala, the Jinja South West member of parliament (MP) and received by the office of the deputy speaker of parliament on 15th June 2021, the business community argues that given the geographical dynamics and uniqueness of the two local governments ,a travel ban should be lifted.
‘’Some of the social services like the major referral health facilities and banks are located in Jinja City and shared by the neighboring districts. Although the presidential guidelines did not stop the operations of health facilities ,industries ,hotels ,restaurants ,banks ,shops ,supermarkets ,lodges among others ,the operations of these businesses have been constrained as a results of the restrictions on the movement of workers and business owners’’, reads in part the petitioners.
It should be noted that the two districts neighboring Jinja City house many industries including; Nile Breweries, Nytil, Kakira Sugar Ltd, GM Sugar, Steel Rolling Mill and food millers, among others, and some workers of these industries come from the neighboring Districts of Jinja.
‘’Given that the geographical dynamics and uniqueness of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) comprising Wakiso and Mukono are similar to those of Jinja City and Buikwe District; the petitioner’s plea is that Jinja City,Jinja District and Buikwe District should therefore be given the same consideration’’, the petition states further.
Residents of Njeru Municipality in Buikwe and Jinja City have faced difficulties in crossing the bridge since last week as security officers enforce the inter-district movement ban.
As early as 5am, police set up road blocks at the New and Old Nile Bridge blocking everyone who tried to cross through.
The District Police Commander of Jinja City ASP Maurice Niyonzima, told reporters last week that the two bridges are the borders of Buikwe and Jinja and police are implementing a presidential directive.