For the next one month, Busia one stop border post, which Kenya shares with Uganda and Malaba border will be closed to human traffic.
“No Kenyan will be allowed to cross over to Uganda and no Ugandan will be allowed by security officers to come into the country, at least for the next one month,” said County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri, at a news conference.
Only heavy commercial vehicles with a driver and turn-boy will be allowed to cross over to either country.
The Ugandan government is also reading from the same script and has already issued a raft of measures to avert the spread of the virus.
“Pending the evolving of an EAC Health Response Plan to the Pandemic by the East Africa Ministers of Health, no person, Ugandan or otherwise, will be allowed to enter Uganda by land or water except for drivers and accompanying crews, not exceeding 3 persons, for cargo transport vehicles trailers, lorries and other cargo vehicles. No buses, mini-buses, salon cars or boda-bodas will be allowed in the country,” Museveni said.
Many people were caught unaware by the short notice and faced off with immigration officers manning the porous border.
“Also, pedestrians, walking on foot, or bicycle rider will not be allowed to enter Uganda or to enter Uganda by road, path or water; nor will they be allowed to exit by those means,” Museveni noted.
The border post worth $12 million (Shs44 billion) was constructed by Cross –border business advisory organization, Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) with funding from UK Department of International Development (DFID) and the Global Affairs, Canada.
Busia border is one of the busiest in East Africa and Uganda’s second busiest point after Malaba, with an average of 894 vehicles crossing per day (TMEA, 2011).
The border handles human and cargo to and from Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and DRC.
As the reality of coronavirus pandemic slowly sinks in, more and more African countries are moving to close their borders as cases sour above 1,000 across the continent. Uganda, Eritrea and Angola are the latest to announce their first cases of Covid-19 as the disease is formally known.
Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, on Saturday announced it was closing airports to all incoming international flights for a month.