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MPs ask Govt to stop Kenyan buses ferrying Ugandan pupils across the border

Parliament. Mr Godfrey Macho (Busia Municipality, NRM) said at least 11 buses from Kenya pick up more than 500 nursery and Primary One pupils from Uganda every morning and bring them back in the evening. Photo | File

Members of parliament sitting on the Education Committee on Thursday asked government to stop Kenyan buses from ferrying learners from Uganda amid rising cases of Covid-19.

Kenya has over the last two months been battling a second wave of the pandemic, which has seen some of its counties put under lockdown.

Mr Godfrey Macho (Busia Municipality, NRM) said at least 11 buses from Kenya pick up more than 500 nursery and Primary One pupils from Uganda every morning and bring them back in the evening.

“As some of our schools remain closed to some learners, Ugandan children at the Busia border are being taken to Kenya to import Covid-19. About 500 children go through the Ugandan border manned by government officials to a country we all know has high cases of Covid-19,” Mr Macho said.

He said this poses a serious danger since children can transmit the virus to their families back in Uganda.
“I have raised this issue several times but government is keeping a deaf ear,” Mr Macho said.

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“I am taking this matter seriously because it is not only in Busia but across all our borders. I am going to seek audience with the Prime Minister and we shall organise a meeting with the Internal Affairs ministry to come up with a solution as soon as possible,” he said.

Whereas most pupils have returned to school after more than a year at home, those in nursery or kindergarten, Primary One, Primary Two and Primary Three are yet to.

Mr Muyingo also asked police to hasten investigations into the cause of fire that gutted a girls’ dormitory at King’s College Budo on Tuesday.

The minister said in an interview with Daily Monitor that the government had put in place guidelines requiring each school to have fire extinguishers and committees, but this has largely not been adhered to due to budget constraints.

He challenged schools to ensure they invest more in mitigating fires to avoid loss of property and lives.


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