Bus drivers Tuesday went on strike following Inspector General of Police Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura’s directive that two police officers would be deployed on each bus plying upcountry routes.
Kayihura announced that effective this week, each bus would be inspected and manned by a Police constable and a traffic officer.
During a consultative meeting with bus owners, drivers and Ministry of Works and Transport officials last week, Kayihura said the move was to curb rampant accidents in the country..
“The officers will help to check the mechanical condition of the buses before take-off, the speed along the way and the behaviour of the driver,” Kayihura explained.
“We saw it necessary to deploy the officers in the buses as the only short-term means of minimising bus accidents in the country,” Kayihura said then.
He added that the officers would be paid by the Government through the Police Force.
He also said that the officers would undergo scrutiny before being deployed in the commuter buses, and that they would be rotated on a weekly basis.
The move came following a horrendous accident last Monday in which 14 people died on spot and several got injured when a speeding Horizon bus lost control at Malongo along Masaka -Mbarara highway and caught fire.
The Transport Licensing Board (TLB) revoked the Horizon buses’ licence until the company works on the condition of its fleet and compensation of the victims and their relatives.
Kayihura also put up a steering committee to come up with long-term solutions to curb the rampant accidents in the country.