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Outcry as sugar cane trucks claim 75 lives in 5 months


Outcry as sugar cane trucks claim 75 lives in 5 months

Biggest cause of accidents: Aged trucks that ferry canes from outgrowers to sugar processrors have claimed many lives

The people of Mayuge district in Busoga sub-region are outraged at the alarming rate of road accidents caused by trucks carrying sugar cane to a nearby factory.

According to  Caroline Akol, ” Mbeiza said.

Mbeiza revealed the ultimatum was issued to the sugar factory bosses last week, during a meeting with truck drivers and owners, residents, Mayuge LC5 chairperson Omar Bongo, police officers led by District Police Commander among others at the factory.

“Even as the factory administration sorts out this problem, I direct police officers to tow every truck found parked by the roadside to scale down traffic jam on the road,” she added. Majority of the victims of these road accidents are boda boda users.

Permit Jain, the factory administrative officer said the management would convene an impromptu meeting to devise solutions of complying with the local authorities and putting up the requirements.

The outcry over high road accidents on the deadly Muyita-Mayuge stretch comes at a time when sugarcane farmers in the district are up in arms over the company’s alleged violation of agreements it made with the farmers.

In a recent meeting, the farmers resolved to stop supplying sugarcane and cut ties with Mayuge Sugar Industries Limited in protest over the alleged mistreatment by the management of the company.

The farmers under their umbrella bodies Bunya Sugarcane Company Limited and Mayuge sugar out growers association accuse the management of the firm for deviating from its earlier position of  fostering development in the area. The farmers claim that the firm is instead working towards making the community around the factory “poorer”.

During a meeting held in Mayuge Town recently, the farmers accused the firm of making abrupt stoppages of supply of sugarcane, slapping unnecessary fines ranging between Shs20,000 and Shs200,000 and non-issuance of delivery notes.

The farmers also accused the management of making lump sum deductions for loans that they had earlier been offered to facilitate planting and harvesting contrary to an earlier agreed position that deductions would be made in three seasons.

Management also came under fire from farmers who accused it of witch-hunting and harassing their leaders who attempt to voice out the farmers’ concerns. The firm is also accused of failure to employ local residents.

“While our youth are suffering with unemployment, we too are suffering with the sale of our sugarcane. We, therefore, resolve to stop dealing with them,” the chairperson of the group,” Alimansi Buyinza, said.

The claims were however denied by, the firm’s finance and administrative officer, Permit Jain, who said that supply is only halted in cases when production is stopped due to unavoidable circumstances.

Jain said that unless they are servicing their machines as they do it periodically or when there is a machine breakdown, they have never stopped suppliers to the factory.



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