'Talking' Kyaliwajjala truck to be towed away

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'Talking' Kyaliwajjala truck to be towed away
The low-bed hauler has been a subject of ribald black magic tales | Courtesy

The white Mercedes Benz truck carrier with red and blue paintings on its hauler has been a subject of ribald black magic tales for five years.

TRAFFIC | The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) says it has decoded the mechanical and technical wherewithal needed to tow away a low-bed hauler that has been abandoned along the Kireka-Namugongo Road in Kyaliwajjala suburb for five years.

The white Mercedes Benz truck carrier with red and blue paintings on its hauler has been a subject of ribald black magic tales throughout its illegal parking.

Many say the truck talked if touched with wrong intentions and that those who tried to tow it away, or vandalise it suffered mystery illnesses and died - although no one can put a hand to such a victim with certainty.

The ownership was also a subject of much debate, with many claiming it belonged to Templar Bisase, who died in a cruise boat accident in 2018.

Templar's cousin Brian Isubikalu has previously told this reporter they only get amused by the tales and claims the truck belonged to their family.

But now UNRA spokesperson Allan Ssempebwa has told Nile Post that they have found a solution and will tow away the truck on Saturday in an operation that will involve mechanics, police and local leaders.

"I now know for sure that the solution is mechanical and this will be applied tomorrow morning to have it taken away from its current location," Mr Ssempebwa said.

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".

While Mr Tumusiime did not go into the specifics of why the truck had left police helpless on at least two occasions, this reporter's inquiries zeroed it down to a booster in the air brake system of heavy cargo trucks.

UNRA's Ssempebwa confirmed as much on Friday evening.

"Our enforcement team working with a team of private mechanics in town intend to break it up (perform body mechanics on the truck to demobilise it) and later have it towed to Bweyogerere Police yard," he said.

"The exercise will kick off at 9am tomorrow; we hope it goes as planned."

In mechanical terms, most heavy trucks such as the Mercedes Benz low-bed carrier are diesel engines that use air brake systems.

When such a truck is parked, the air brake activates, locking all the wheels to prevent rolling. It gets worse when the air brake is frozen like after the truck has stayed overnight in cold weather.

To reactivate the booster or air brake system, the engine has to be started and the truck then has to release air for the wheels unlock, according to Rajab Muhammed, a mechanic in Kampala.

Mr Tumusiime abandoned the hauler at 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.

With tales of black magic running wild about the hauler, Mr Tumusiime effectively survived vandals and paying parking fees for all these years.

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