The Ministry of Works and Transport on Monday started issuing permits to categories of people allowed to move following the presidential directive instituting a lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
President Museveni directed the ministry to issue permits for essential staff. These include health workers, journalists, manufacturers, and government employees.
Unlike the first lockdown in 2020 when stickers were printed and placed on vehicles, the ministry will not provide stickers because of the loopholes discovered in the system. Information from the ministry also clarifies that the 2020 stickers are now invalid.
The ministry has set up an online system through which permits will be issued. Permits by the ministry of Works and Transport are to be used in Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area and cannot cross into other districts.
According to guidelines released by the ministry, heads of organizations in the private sector and permanent secretaries or heads of departments in government entities shall apply for travel permits through an email, email@example.com.
The application should be sent with scan copy of a headed paper containing the full address.
The ministry will then reply with login credentials to the applicant that gives the entity access to apply on the clearance website.
The application shall include the names of 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.
Upon verification, the ministry shall generate a QR code with an application number on the clearance form that will be uploaded on the website, www.clearance.works.go.ug, from where the entity will access the permit using the login credentials.
Mr. Winstone Katushabe, the commissioner for Transport Regulation and Safety, said the status of the application could be checked by sending an SMS to 6120.
Mr. Katushabe said enforcement personnel would also verify the authenticity of the travel permit by scanning the QR code using a smartphone or by sending an SMS with the vehicle registration number.
“Each credential is unique. One entity’s credentials are different and so cannot be shared. Every login is uniquely identified to that organization. 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,” Mr. Katushabe said.
Mr. Katushabe said the ministry had prioritized clearance of medical workers because they are the most critical workforce at the moment. He, however, said workers could use organization identification cards to move as they await clearance.
On Monday, however, many essential workers faced many roadblocks due to a lack of permits.
He said medical entities/personnel are being cleared through the Ministry of Health while manufacturers are cleared through the Uganda Manufacturers Associations. Media will be cleared through the Uganda Media Centre.
According to Mr. Katushabe, individual applicants will be handled, but priority shall be given to professional bodies because of easy identification and verification.
Emergencies/ Special permits
The ministry has also indicated that one may approach the nearest referral medical personnel to obtain permission to travel in an emergency.
According to guidelines from the ministry, a special permit shall be required for persons traveling out of Kampala for burial, medical reasons that are not emergencies, and departing or returning persons. This shall be done through the same online procedures [as essential workers].
The ministry shall approve or reject the application, and the entity shall download the clearance form from www.clearance.works.go.ug using the provided login credentials.
To access travel permits in other districts, the regional and district task forces are charged with issuing the permits following recommendations from the resident district commissioners, the district health officers, and the village chairpersons.
Credit: Daily Monitor