Tag Archives: Isuzu

Seminarian students perish in accident

Three seminarian students from Katigondo Major Seminary and another person were confirmed dead and three others sustained injuries following an accident that occurred at Katovu in Lwengo district along Mbarara-Masaka road. Priests and Nuns at Mbarara Church, Nyamitanga, pay tribute to three seminarians on Saturday. Photo by Fred Turyakira Noah Sserunjogi, the Greater Masaka region Police spokesperson, said the accident involved a Toyota Corona registration UAF 627P carrying passengers from Masaka which rammed into a stationery Isuzu Bus registration number UAM 897C at Katovu trading centre. “The driver of the Toyota Corona from Masaka heading to Mbarara left his side and rammed into a stationery bus plying the Mbarara-Kampala route. Three died on the spot, one died on arrival to Lyantonde Hospital while three including the driver sustained serious injuries. They were rushed to Mbarara referral Hospital,” he explained. The deceased students from Katigondo were identified as George Sunday 22, hailing from Kitamba, Kazo parish in Kiruhura district, Christon Atuyambe 26, from Kibonwa parish in Isingiro district, lnnocent Warugaba 23, from Butaare parish and Abdul Ssakalo from Mbirizi in Lwengo district. The injured include, Godwin Atuhwere 30 the driver of the Corona and a resident from Nansana, a seven year old-girl and another adult. Sserunjogi attributed the cause of the accident to reckless driving by the driver of the Toyota Corona. He said Police was going to intensify operations with traffic gadgets on the roads to prevent more accidents caused by reckless driving. The bodies of three students from Katigondo Religious Seminary were on Sunday prayed for at Mbarara diocese, Nyamitanga, Mbarara district amidst sobbing in a service led by the Mbarara Archdiocese, auxiliary bishop, the Rt. Rev.Lambert Bainomugisha. Fr. Boneventure Turyomumaziima, the diocesan chancellor said the death robbed the life of the trust worthy seminarians who were ready and dedicated to serve God. “The church has lost future priests, Sunday and Warugaba were completing their 3rd year seminary course in May 2014 while Atuyambe was in his first semester,” He explained. Gervase Ndyanabo, the head of Christians at Mbarara Archdiocese, said the death of three seminarians reflects other incidences where 93 students died in accident and a priest, Fr. Charles Mugisha died in an accidents heading for this year’s Uganda Martyrs celebrations at Namugongo. He asked Christians to keep praying for the souls of the deceased to rest in peace and encouraged the relatives of the deceased to remain calm and strong in trying moments. After the service, bodies were taken to their respective homes for burial on Monday. By Fred Turyakira, The New Vision

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Kenya to ban goods from matatu roofs

The government will outlaw mounting of carriers on the rooftops of passenger services vehicles. A picture of a matatu carrying goods Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau last week said banning PSVs from carrying goods on their rooftops would enhance safety in the public transport sector and reduce the number of accidents. “This is important to avoid instances where buses with load carriers tip over when overloaded, as happened in the case of the Ntulele crash,” said Kamau. The August Ntulele accident left 41 people dead. Compliance with the regulation, Kamau said, would  enhance survival rates in the event of an accident. Further, National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) will ensure vehicle body builders adhere to the use of specified materials. “We will not hesitate to deregister vehicle body building companies that fail to comply with the set standards,” he added, saying the lack of safety on the roads is partly a result of sub-standard vehicle bodies. “One of the causes of the loss of many lives in the Ntulele bus crash was the poor build of the bus, as evidenced by the tearing off of the entire roof and sides of the bus during the accident,” Kamau added. He made the remarks last week during the commissioning of a Sh100 million General Motors bus body building technology centre. Vehicle bodies The vehicle body building industry in Kenya is not properly regulated, and only a handful of firms are registered. David Percival, of the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers in Thika, said the vehicle body building market is dominated by 30 semi-formal builders and over 300 informal ones. “There is need for the government to develop standards with a view to ensuring quality production of vehicle bodies,” he said. The GM assembly centre will also serve as a training ground for local body builders on best practices to improve skills and technology transfer for the local industry. “As a market leader in this industry, GMEA is committed to investing in the growth of the bus segment and the centre will work as a benchmark for safety, quality and technology,” GMEA Managing Director Rita Kavashe said, as the first bus — an Isuzu Cruiser — rolled off the new assembly Centre. The new Isuzu Cruiser is a key component of the company’s strategy to grow its market share, currently at 25.4 per cent, in its traditional markets within East Africa, and penetrate new markets in sub-Saharan Africa. “The bus, targeted at hotels, tour operators, schools, institutions and the public service vehicle sector, has enhanced safety features and improved fuel efficiency demonstrating GMEA’s commitment to innovation,” Kavashe added. Egyptian bus manufacturing company GB Polo is partnering with the firm on provision of materials and technological expertise for assembly of bus bodies. “We are currently importing partially knocked down kits, but in the near future, we plan to import completely knocked down kits as we apply the transferred technical expertise to build the full bus body,” Kavashe said. By NICHOLAS WAITATHU, The Standard

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Cartels of traders, fisheries and police behind illegal fishing on L. Victoria

On the wee hours of last Friday, a team of fisheries and police officers accompanied by journalists and conservationists from Mauritius based SmartFish programme set up a road block at Busia, Kisumu to Kampala roads junction. Tilapia in danger of being wiped out due to destructive and illegal fishing in Lake Victoria. It was a special operation to arrest traders taking their catches of undersize or juvenile Nile perch and Tilapia to the markets in Kisumu, Busia, Eldoret, Kampala and other large cities in East Africa. “It’s a difficult task which exposes fisheries officers to hostile fish traders and fishermen. We are often abused but we don’t respond unless someone tries to physically attack us,” said Sophie Omoro, a Kisumu County fisheries officer who commanded the overnight operation. Trucks loaded with frozen Nile perch and Tilapia passed by the junction sometimes stopped briefly to have their consignments inspected but often left to go as the night gave way to day break. Then a fleet of passenger buses mostly Matatus started passing by and the brigade of fisheries officials and police officers with at least one armed police officer, Constable Mohammed Odha got ruthless and busy flagging down almost every vehicle approaching. “Who is the owner of this fish sack?” asked one fisheries officer who was on top of a Nairobi bound passenger bus. What is it, have you found anything?” asked Chief Inspector, Hosea Konzolo who is in-charge of Kisumu port police post, who went on to order the junior fisheries officer to offload the sack. After inquiring among passengers in the bus, the owner came out. “It’s mine,” said Jane Atieno, a mother of six who later told journalists that her husband died several years back, a statement which Ms Omoro dismissed. “When we arrest them, they always cheat, they will make excuses so that we sympathise with them,” Omoro argued as the terrified lady stood by the bus with her hands clad on each of her chins completely dumb as ruthless fisheries and police officers tore through her three sacks including one with fresh Tilapia, ordering her to produce a government license legalising her trading in fish. “I have forgotten my license at home,” she said while pleading with Omoro and Inspector Konzolo to release her sacks containing smoked juvenile Nile perch, fresh Tilapia and sardines. Several other sacks of fresh and smoked fish were offloaded from Kisumu and Nairobi bound passenger buses with most of the owners choosing not to proceed without disembarking for fear of prosecution. A few argued their cases with Omoro and Konzolo who maintained a tough stance against the culprits. “Wewe nendaga tu ukachukue leseni ndiyo ukuje kuchukua mzigo wako,” charged Inspector Konzolo who moved around majestically like a cock taking care of hens after defeating a competitor in a fight for the possession of the females. The statement literally meant that the lady should go and collect her trading license for her merchandised to be released. Ms Atieno who was clad in a piece of cloth to protect herself from the chilling daybreak temperatures, moved slowly aside pleading for mercy as a hybrid chicken watching its peer being slaughtered while waiting for its turn. “This is not acceptable, how comes they are only arresting the small fish traders while trucks are left to pass by?” Inquired a Nigerian fishing industry journalist, Lucky Emeka who was part of the brigade commanded by Omoro. ...

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URA hit by number plate scam

Vehicle buyers beware. The new car you are driving may not be yours and you could be sharing the registration number with someone else. Worse still the number plate of the saloon car you are driving might belong to a tractor or a grader. A motor vehicle registration number UAB 272M was spotted on the road. Being a Toyota Corolla Allex, model 2002, the old number plate appeared suspicious. the UAB series were released in 2000. A confirmatory check was then undertaken in the Motor Vehicle Registration database and it revealed that UAB 272M had been allocated to a Toyota Hilux with engine and Chassis numbers 3L-4526953 and LN166-0010185 respectively. The first date of registration was on March 17, 2000. This proved that the number plates were fraudulently fixed on the Toyota Corolla Allex. “There is a risk that this Corolla did not pay taxes on importation, leading to loss of revenue,” stated the report. Fraud in vehicle registration has continued, unabated in Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), perpetrated by some unscrupulous staff and their agents, according a report released recently by the Auditor General, John Muwanga. In another incident during inspections at Busia customs station, a Jeep with registration number UAA 263K was found parked among the seized units. The in-charge explained that it was being smuggled to Kenya. However, further verification revealed that the number plate belonged to a Bedford lorry registered under Terrain Services Ltd with engine and chassis numbers NK252662714912 and 17492808 respectively. It was found that the number plate was fraudulently removed from the lorry and affixed to the Jeep for the purpose of smuggling it to Kenya.Terrain Services has been asked to account for the number plate. URA commissioner for public affairs, Paul Kyeyune, said, “People owned up and paid the taxes. Those who tampered with the registration paid fines. There are cases under investigation and others in court.” He said URA had strengthened its IT security division to ensure such fraud does not happen. URA also carries out security audits and vehicle revalidation. Sources say thousands of vehicles were fraudulently registered without paying taxes, through hacking the Uganda Revenue Authority computer database. Kyeyune said a former employee, who was later nabbed, was involved. A URA official said last year, because of the unlimited access the hackers had gained to the URA database, over 1,000 vehicles were fraudulently registered. URA lost $10m (about sh26b) through hacking. ...

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Uganda: Only 5% of imported vehicles are road worthy

There are at least ten big car bonds lining around areas of Nakawa, Nitnda, Banda, Kyambogo and Industrial area. To an ordinary Ugandan, those bonds are actually selling ‘brand new cars’. However a closer look at the vehicles lined up in most of these bonds shows that most of the vehicles are over 10 years old-some like the famous Toyota Hiaces that is used for mainly Passenger Services over 20 years old. This means that if the ban on importation of vehicles older than 7 years is enforced, all these bonds would simply close shop in their current state. Only government vehicles may stay on the roads if such ban is implemented, since the government does not import vehicles that are older than five years. “We know the proposed ban will affect many Ugandans because they cannot afford to buy brand new cars, but at least there must be a policy to prevent the cars in a very poor condition from getting into the Ugandan market,” Micheal Werikhe, Chairperson of the natural resources committee of parliament said. The bonds are filled with the popular Toyota Ipsums, Toyota Touring, Subaru Foresters, Toyota Duets, Toyota Allex, with the latest of these being model 2003. To a Ugandan, a 2003 model is ‘brand new’ and it is difficult to convince the ordinary Ugandan that this is now 10 years old. “The Ipsum 2003 model has got ‘new eyes’ and nobody will convince me that it is too old to come to Uganda. If it is old then what is new?” asks Abbey Ssebunya, a car dealer. On the morning of May 16th, this reporter stood for over 20 minutes along 3rd Street industry area, watching vehicles zooming past, and trying to count which of them could qualify under the new law. First, an Isuzu Canter UAM…drove passed carrying private security men, it was a 1991 model, it was followed by a Toyota Hilux UAA….it was a 1995 model, then a Mark II UAQ…drove passed, it was a 1998 model. These were followed by a Toyota Corsa 1995, a Super Custom 1995, a Toyota Noah UAR…that is the ‘latest’ on the Ugandan roads, but is a 2002 model, a Land cruiser TX UAT…2000 model, then a government owned Mitsubishi L200 2007 model…. The conclusion was that perhaps only government can buy brand new vehicles. According to the latest Ministry of Transport and Works statistics, there are close to 1m vehicles in Uganda and of these at least 40,000 are owned by government. Expensive There is a very big price gap between a used car and a brand new car. In other words, the newer the car, the more expensive it is. At Bafta car dealers of Japan, an Ipsum 2007 model, that will be least accepted if the ban comes into force goes for an average US$14,500 or at least sh40m before taxes while a model 1998 Ipsum goes for an average US$1,500 or sh4m before taxes. At the same car dealership, a Subaru Forester 2007 model goes for an average US$18,000 or sh50m before taxes compared to a 1998 model that goes for an average US$1,500 or sh4m before taxes. This applies to all the other vehicle models. If one is to go for 2010 to 2013 models, the average cost of a Toyota Hilux pick up may cost over US$40,000 or sh125m before taxes according to a source at Toyota Uganda, a Toyota Premio 2010 costs US$30,000 on average before taxes too. “Given the manner in which we buy our cars and that is through salary loans mainly, an ordinary employee will not be able to own a car since the average salary loan he can get is sh15 to 20m,” says a journalist who imported a car direct from Japan a few months ago. Because his Ipsum was a 1998 model, it cost him less than sh10m after registration. The ban will hence forth mean less cars on the road. By Joshua Kato, The New Vision

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Pupil killed in road accident

A pupil was killed in a road accident that occurred along Pugu road at the junction of Segerea and Banana in Ilala district, Dar es Salaam. Kinondoni Regional Police Commander, Charles Kenyela In a separate accident, 16 people were injured in an accident that involved three ...

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