Kyaliwajjala truck disengaged and towed away

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Kyaliwajjala truck disengaged and towed away
There was no talking or slapping at the scene as the truck was towed away

Computer scientist Christopher Buni becomes an instant celebrity after leading a team of mechanics in dislodging a hauler truck and ending its five-year parking on the roadside in Kwaliwajjala

NATIONAL | A low-bed hauler that has kept tongues wagging about its potential to talk and slap whoever wandered near it with 'bad' intentions has been disengaged and towed away.

The Mercedes Benz carrier truck had been a subject of ribald black magic tales throughout its illegal parking along the Kireka-Namugongo Road in Kyaliwajjala.

After several efforts by Police to tow the truck away, Uganda National Revenue Authority (UNRA) on Friday announced they had decoded the mechanical and technical wherewithal and would see the end of the tales today (Saturday).

And they did just that.

"The truck head has been dislodged and towed to a nearby parking yard," UNRA spokesperson Allan Ssempebwa posted on X on a day he kept the public updated of events around the truck whose mystery has captivated the nation for more than five years.

A team of mechanics from UNRA and hired heads backed by police arrived at Kwaliwajjala by 8.30am, ready to start their scheduled 9am operation.

Human bodies crammed the vicinity with boda-boda operators parking their motorcycles to animate the black magic tales as they waited to see the team lead Mr Christopher Buni, Ssempebwa and the rest scamper for dear lives.

But science won the day as Buni, a computer scientist, explained the technicalities involved in disengaging the booster (air brake system) to free the wheels and get the truck ready for routine towing.

"We tested each wheel at a time, and tested the freewheel movement on each of the tracks, running each of the tyres. And we did that for all the four sets of wheels that the tractor head has," Buni explained at the scene.

He said attention was then focused on freeing the main pin (similar to a 'Jesus pin' in helicopters) which secures the trailer.

"In this case, it's what holds the back rear trailer. We were successful in dislodging that pin," he said.

This allowed the truck's engine or head to roll freely and be ready for towing.

Happy Blends and Brews, a mobile juice and tea company, delivers juice for the team

Prior, social media was awash with theories of what was bound to happen, with some playing on Buni's name - which means someone destined for the grave in his native Lugbara - to suggest he was dancing with his destiny by taking on the dreaded task.

But by the time the head of the truck was towed, Buni had become an instant celebrity as media cameras focused on him with a mass of human bodies using using their phones to capture a selfie with the engineer.

There were even jokes that his success at Kwaliwajjala had confirmed he was the man to dislodge and end NRM rule.

The team had ended more than five years of black magic tales surrounding the existence of the low-bed hauler along the Kireka-Namugongo Road.

"By the end of the weekend, we shall know if witchcraft is stronger than the state," Buni had posted on his X account on Friday.

He knew the game.

Happy Blends and Brews, a mobile juice and tea company, joined the many well-wishers with a well-timed complimentary 5-litre jerry can of juice for the team to quench their thirst.

The truck belongs to Mr Robert Tumusiime, a former marketing manager of Tata Uganda, who in January last year told this writer that he was "soon putting it back on the road".

Mr Tumusiime abandoned the hauler near Shell Kyaliwajjala five years ago after his businesses under the Rosget Agencies and Logistics went south following a botched vehicles delivery deal with the government.

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