Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, April 29 agreed to formulate a common approach for the testing of truck drivers at border points for Covid-19, addressing an issue which has caused confusion and sparked fear in border communities in recent weeks.
The leaders concurred after Museveni reached out to Uhuru and Kagame in a phone call at night, with the Ugandan leader revealing they had 'a very long discussion'.
Museveni further disclosed that he also called Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli, asserting, however, that they discussed issues unrelated to the testing of truck drivers.
"I had a very long discussion with H.E Uhuru Kenyatta and H.E Paul Kagame regarding truck drivers. I also talked to H.E Magufuli JP on a slightly different subject.
"However, President Kenyatta and President Kagame agreed that we can have a common plan for truck drivers," Museveni shared.
The announcement is expected to pave the way for policy experts to formulate protocols that could be implemented at border points to keep businesses going and further curb the spread of Coronavirus.
Uganda had started imposing stringent rules for Kenyan truck drivers going through Busia after at least five truck drivers from Kenya tested positive for Covid-19 in Uganda.
It had been revealed that among measures being considered by Ugandan authorities was for Kenyan drivers to be required to abandon their trucks at the border, and Ugandan drivers to cover the final mile.
On Sunday, April 26, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman announced that the government would begin targeted mass testing of truck drivers following the confirmed cases of the country exporting the virus.
Residents in Busia were also concerned that with the testing causing long traffic jams, the drivers were freely interacting with them, putting them at risk of being exposed to Covid-19.
As questionable reports started emerging on the nature of Museveni's call with the East African leaders, Museveni later issued a brief statement touting the values of Pan-Africanism.
"Greetings to all of you. Thank you for supporting our lockdown measures against the Coronavirus. I am told that some people misrepresented the Pan-Africanist house of the East African Federation I talked about last night.
"This is naturally a big house with rooms that have got all the necessary facilities each. If it is the sitting room, it will have its own washroom. If the dining room, it will have its own place of convenience. If it is one of the bedrooms, each will have its own washroom.
"Those that tried to misrepresent this should know that they are not assisting the cause of the Pan-Africanists. Be positive in your interactions. Yours, The Old man with a hat," he signed off.