Stop extortion of motorists and car owners in Lango

(Last Updated On: 29 September 2022)

…the entire police force to desist from receiving bribes from motorists and local community businesses in Lango.

By Ishaa Otto Amiza

Oyam – Sept. 28, 2022: Whereas the Government of Uganda has deliberately declined to construct major highways in Lango, it has come to my knowledge that traffic officers and revenue points located at five strategic locations along Lira-Kamdini highway are involved in terrible extortion and receiving of bribes from car owners and local business, motorists along Lira- Kamdini road leading to high cost of taxi ride along that highway.

It’s known that in major highways, Kampala-Masaka, Kampala-Mbarara; Kampala-Kamdini, etc, road traffic officers are not engaged in receiving bribes but to follow traffic and problems on the road.

The five locations at Kamdini, Iyanyi, Amuca, Corner Park, Corner Morolem and Alidi, etc., and the mobile traffic police vehicle are now serial extortionists along this road.

While the NRA government of Museveni Has denied Lango the road’s infrastructure notably the Lira-Kamdini highway, they have also deployed police traffic to receive all kinds of bribes from local vehicle owners who use this highway.

In addition to ensuring that the cost of transport along this highway is the highest, the price of fuel along Lira-Kamdini highway is at a peak of UGX6,100 for petrol and UGX5,600 for diesel.

The transport fare for the 66kms on Lira- Kamdini road is UGX15,000 and Apac-Lira is UGX30,000 while Lira-Dokolo-Amolatar is UGX30,000. Lira-Otuke is UGX30,000, Lira-Ngai is UGX20,000 making transport costs in Lango sub-region one of the highests compared to many parts of the country.

All these costs are attributed to poor road conditions, high fuel price and extortion of bribes by the so-called police traffic officers. Unfortunately, the final victim is the ordinary user of the roads in Lango.

All the above raises the costs of doing business in Lango and costs of living for the ordinary citizens who live or move across the Lango sub-region besides Lango being the second highest tax paying sub-regions in the whole country.

The tarmac road coverage in Lango is less than 3%. What a mix?

In conclusion, I am calling upon the IGP Okoth Ochola to withdraw “Police bribe Collectors” along Lira-Kamdini road and deploy highway police patrol vehicles to monitor the use of the roads by motorists as opposed to deploying “money collecting roadblocks”.

The traffic police officers main task now is to receive bribes from vehicle owners and travelers contrary to controlling careless driving and parking, drunken driving, misuse of the roads, conditions of the vehicles, dangerous spots, accidents management, etc.

I also wish to warn traffic police officers and the entire police force to desist from receiving bribes from motorists and local community businesses in Lango because they risk the worst confrontation and protests against their conducts and actions against the ordinary people.

The writer is the former MP Oyam County South/Political Activist. The opinion herein is exclusively his, and not of the publication.

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