Link

Link bus driver suspended for operating mobile phone while driving

(Last Updated On: 5 November 2023)

Adjumani | In an attempt to reduce road accidents that the company has been crippling in the recent past, the management of Link Bus Company has suspended Andrew Jjemba, 43. 

Andrew’s suspension came shortly after he was filmed in a video secretly by one of the passengers who was also travelling in the bus.

Jjemba was filmed while driving at the same time operating his phone driving bus registration number UBG 188P along Kampala- Fortportal- Kasese road.

The video that later went viral on X caught the attention of the public and other actors in the transport sector including the management of the bus company.

According to a press statement written by Tom Best Allinde, the Public Relations Manager of the company, they expressed dissatisfaction with the unethical conduct of Jjemba.

He was among the company’s recent drivers who had undergone two two-month annual refresher course organized by the company on road safety.

“We condemn in the strongest terms possible the individual actions by the particular driver. His actions were not just reckless and dangerous but also downplay the safety standards of our brand and taint our names,” reads the statement.

The letter further went on to indicate that Jjemba has been fired from his role as a driver of the company with immediate effect for violating the company’s and country’s road safety policies.

“On Wednesday Morning, November 1, 2023, we were shocked to learn of a viral social media post involving our driver, upon receiving the video, immediately our Human Resource officer swung into action to investigate the matter and from our preliminary findings, Jjemba has been suspended from duty with immediate effect,” added the letter.

However, the management of the bus company thanked the passengers who captured the video for safeguarding the lives of passengers who were on board and urged their clients to continue using their available platforms to report any form of road safety violation by their staff.

The company management further went on to state that they are cooperating with the relevant authorities.

Jjemba was arrested and pleaded not guilty to the charges under Regulation 3(a) & 4 of the Traffic and Road Safety (Restriction of Use of Mobile Telephone) Regulations, 2004, according to Uganda Police.

Under the regulation, a person shall not while driving a motor vehicle, use a hand-held mobile telephone or while instructing a learner driver, in the process of driving, use a hand-held mobile telephone.

Furthermore, the regulation stated that any person who contravenes this law is liable, on conviction, to a fine of not less than five currency points (shs100,000) and not exceeding ten currency points (shs200,000), or to imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.

The suspension of Jjemba comes following a series of road accidents that the company buses have been involved in where 23 passengers got injured in 2023 when the bus they were travelling in had a crash in Mubende district.

Also, between Jan and May 2023, Link coaches registered three cases of road crashes all Kampala-FortPortal-Kasase highway.

In these crashes, more than 20 passengers were injured. At least 25 died in 2022 in fatal crashes on the same highway.

By Kei Emmanuel Duku

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