The Ugandan Ministry of Works and Transportation began issuing permits to vehicle owners exempted from the new lockdown regulations in the country. According to the presidential directive, only health workers, journalists, manufacturers, and government employees can move freely. And they will soon have to possess travel permits.
What are Uganda travel permits?
Travel permits in Uganda give residents the freedom to move around with vehicles despite the new COVID-19 lockdown measures put in place in 2021. The country’s Ministry of Works and Transportation issues them and are only usable in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.
These permits cannot be used to cross into other districts. President Museveni already directed the ministry to start issuing them to essential workers before the permit directive went into effect on Monday, 21 June 2021.
How to apply
Heads of organisations in the private sector and permanent secretaries or head of departments in government entities will apply for travel permits using the email address email@example.com for their employees. To do this, they must follow these steps below:
- Write an application with a headed paper that contains the entities’ address.
- Scan a copy of the application and send it to the email address mentioned above.
- Wait for a reply containing the login credentials for the applicant and use them to access the clearance website.
- Next, provide employees’ titles, National Identification or Passport Numbers, number of employees for whom clearance is sought, and the registration numbers of the vehicles to be used.
- After verification, a QR code will be uploaded to the clearance website, www.clearance.works.go.ug, containing the application number on the form.
- The entity will then be able to access the permit using the login credentials.
- To check the status of an application, send an SMS to 6120 and follow prompts.
Note: The Commissioner for Transport Regulation and Safety, Mr Winstone Katushabe, revealed that enforcement personnel will be able to verify the authenticity of travel permits by scanning QR codes using a smartphone or by sending an SMS with the vehicle registration number.
The new regulations automatically render the 2020 sticker permits void, according to a statement from the ministry. They uncovered that many people were able to bypass the sticker permit system and move about without permission to do so. Uganda authorities hope that the new system will be more rigid and waterproof.
“Each credential is unique. One entity’s credentials are different and so cannot be shared. Every login is uniquely identified to that organisation. Once you send that list, we populate on individual paper and each worker will have a QR code, which can be verified through SMS and will show if you are cleared to move in a given vehicle, [sic]” Katushabe claimed.
However, while there are already roadblocks springing up in Greater Kampala, many essential workers are yet to get their permits. Thus, Katushabe added that medical entities, and employees, can use their organisation IDs until they obtain travel permits.
To speed up the process, medical workers and organisations are getting priority treatment from the clearance personnel. The Ministry of Health is working to clear all medical workers while Uganda Manufacturers Associations is dealing with manufacturers and Uganda Media Centre will take care of journalists.
Emergency and special travel permits for non-essential workers
What about people who are not-essential workers? The Commissioner for Transport Regulation and Safety, Mr Winstone Katushabe, stated that individual applicants would also get travel permits. Although, the process will focus on essential workers until they are all cleared.
To obtain an emergency travel permit, you may approach a referral medical personnel close to you. Also, people who want to leave the Kampala district for other reasons, asides from emergencies, such as burials, health, departing or returning persons, can apply. The application can be done through the same process listed in ‘How to apply for travel permits’.
However, note that the Transport Regulation and Safety ministry may approve or reject applications. Also, for regions outside of Greater Kampala, regional and district taskforces will issue permits based on recommendations from the resident district commissioners, the district health officers and the village chairpersons.