Minister directs police to investigate extortion claims on Wanseko- Panyimur ferry services

Passengers board a docked Wanseko-Panyimur ferry at Wanseko landing site on Lake Albert (Mwitanzige) in Kigwera Sub-county, Buliisa District. (Photo: Gad Asaba)

State Minister for Works and Transport, Mr Fred Byamukama, has directed the Buliisa District Police Commander (DPC) to investigate claims of extortion among ferry operators at Wanseko landing site.

The minister says his office is awash with allegations from passengers that the ferry operators demand some transport fees from them in order to use the vessel yet it is a free public service.

He said reports indicate that the operators are using the chance of the great a passenger using the ferry on Lake Albert locally known as Mwitanzige to cross from Wanseko landing site in Kigwera sub-county, Buliisa district to Panyimur in Pakwach district.

Mr Byamukama instructed the DPC to investigate the claims, apprehend the culprits and bring them to book.

While at Wanseko landing site where he witnessed a long queue of passengers in need of the ferry services, the minister revealed that government plans to develop the transport system on Lake Albert with a comprehensive project that will check the congestion.

He said through a revamped transport system on Lake Albert, connecting Bunyoro and West Nile regions and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will be made easier.

Currently, passengers on most landing site at Lake Albert use motorboats to cross to and from the DRC, which the minister, who is also the Bugangaizi West Member of Parliament in Kakumiro district said puts them at more risk of losing their lives when the vessels drown into the lake.

Mr Byamukama was on his supervision tour of government transport projects in Hoima and Buliisa districts.

In Hoima, the minister visited Hoima International Airport while in Buliisa he visited Butyaba landing site.

The Wanseko-Panyimur ferry services serves Bunyoro and West Nile regions under the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).

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