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Kenya-Uganda reach agreement to end transit cargo clearance boycott

Kenya-Uganda reach agreement to end transit cargo clearance boycott

MOMBASA:  Kenya and Ugandan government have reached an agreement to end the transit cargo clearance boycott, which was being observed by both countries for two-weeks. The boycott was called by Ugandan traders to protest on the pre-pay taxes introduced by Kenya Revenue Authority without having any consultation with Ugandan government.

A two-week transit cargo clearance boycott at the Port of Mombasa has threatened to strain good relations between Kenya and Uganda. Uganda bound cargo accounts for over 70 per cent of total transit goods through the Port of Mombasa and most of that cargo has been lying at the facility for the last two weeks. Through the Kampala City Traders Association, the traders had last Thursday issued a two-week ultimatum to KRA to rescind its decision or they revert to the Port of Dar es Salaam or alternatively put pressure on the Ugandan Government to block Kenyan goods from accessing the country’s market.

Ugandan newspapers quoted the association chairman Everest Kayondo protesting against the decision by KRA seen as going against the spirit of East Africa integration and the Single Customs Territory. Speaking in Mombasa yesterday, the traders said President Yoweri Museveni was personally concerned about the pre-pay tax move that led to the stand-off. Yesterday, KRA Assistant Commissioner for Marketing and Communications in the Southern Region Fatma Yusuf said the matter was resolved last Friday following a meeting of customs chiefs from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi in Bujumbura. However, she did not elaborate on the deal arrived at.