Sex workers continue to lure truckers despite govt warning

According to Ms Rosemary Byabasaija, the Mpigi Resident District Commissioner, a security committee sat last month and resolved to arrest all truck drivers found parking in the area especially in towns of Kayabwe and Nakirebe.

Sex workers continue to lure truckers despite govt warning
Controlling Covid-19 is worsening Africa’s HIV epidemic and destroying HIV services, with sex workers facing hardship, illness and death. FILE PHOTO
EDITORIAL

Sex workers have continued to lure cargo truck drivers despite numerous warnings to keep away from them as one of the measures to curtail the spread of coronavirus, officials have said.

Although truck drivers are supposed to stop only at designated points on major highways, some reportedly sneak out and meet sex workers at night.

In Lukaya Town Council, on Kampala-Masaka highway, a popular stopover for cargo truck drivers, the sex workers have changed tactics and instead of lining up on streets as has been the practice, invite clients to their rented rooms.

According to Mr Ephraim Luyombo Ssekkuubwa, the speaker of Lukaya Town Council, most truckers have phone numbers of sex workers and whenever they arrive in the town, they direct them to their rooms.

“Since the truckers are under strict rules not to move away from the gazetted places, we have information that some bribe the security guards at the gate to allow them go out to meet the sex workers,” Mr Ssekkuubwa said.

Mr Ssekkuubwa said the commercial sex business has not only affected efforts to combat Covid-19, but also complicated the fight against the spread of HIV/ Aids in Lukaya Town Council.

Ms Justine Namatovu Kiyingi, a health worker who has spent years counselling sex workers, advised the district Covid-19 task force to give relief food to sex workers because they claim they have no food.

The Resident District Commissioner, Mr Caleb Tukaikiriza, said as the Covid-19 taskforce, they are arranging a meeting with sex workers to sensitise them about the dangers of mingling with transit cargo truck drivers.

“We are also continuing to mobilise more relief food to support vulnerable people including sex workers,” he said.

Mr Dawood Ssengonzi, the senior community development officer Lukaya Town Council, who is responsible for overseeing HIV/Aids preventive campaign in the area, said they are working on interventional approaches with other stakeholders to curb prostitution.

“We are looking for more funds to create alternative income generating businesses for them,” he said.

According to Ms Rosemary Byabasaija, the Mpigi Resident District Commissioner, a security committee sat last month and resolved to arrest all truck drivers found parking in the area especially in towns of Kayabwe and Nakirebe.

“I have ordered the district police commander to communicate to all police station managers to ensure no cargo truck is parked in Mpigi and also observe the movements of sex workers in those areas,” she said.

One of the sex workers in Buwama Town, only identified as Rosette, said they have been affected by the lockdown like other Ugandans yet they have to fend for their families.

“We’re selling our bodies because we need money. Our government doesn’t care about us yet we’re also among the vulnerable groups,” she said.

editorial@citinews.us