Parliament: Trade and supply chains between Uganda and Kenya have continued without major disruptions, despite ongoing demonstrations in Kenya, the Premier, Robinah Nabbanja has said.
She made a statement to Parliament on the impact of demonstrations in Kenya on Uganda’s economy during the plenary sitting on Thursday.
“Data on our cross border business with the Republic of Kenya for dry cargo, wet cargo (including fuel) and units show a steady flow from both Malaba and Busia entry points,” she said.
Nabbanja pointed out that Uganda witnessed minor disruptions on 13, 20 and 27 March, the days demonstrations were held in Kenya.
“The demonstrations notwithstanding, our trade and traffic flow remain stable and there is absolutely no need to panic. Our economy still remains on course to collect its revenues from imports and general trade as programmed,” said the Premier.
She gave assurance that the Ministry of Energy is in close contact with the Kenyan government to ensure uninterrupted flow of petroleum products.
“The Government of Uganda is working closely with the Kenyan Government to ensure that roads, railway and sea routes remain open and secure to facilitate uninterrupted movement of goods,” Nabbanja said.
She added that the joint security agencies of Uganda continue to closely monitor the borderline with Kenya, from Busia, Tororo up to Karamoja area to purposely protect communities along the borderline and counter any spillover effects.
“As a result, comprehensive deployments along the border line have been put in place. The government would like to reassure the public, that all residents along the border are safe and secure,” said Nabbanja.
The Chief Opposition Whip, John Baptist Nambeshe however, said that the Prime Minister’s statement did not provide alternatives, in case Uganda witnesses spillover effects.
“In 2007, Mombasa port was paralysed due to skirmishes in Kenya. What strategies are there in case we are completely cut off this time? We expected mitigation strategies, give us alternatives like going through Dar-es-salam,” Nambeshe said.
Mr Francis Mwijukye (FDC, Buhweju County) urged government to ensure that fuel reserves in Jinja are stocked to avert any possible fuel shortage.
“Last time, demonstrations at the border interrupted flow of fuel and when we went to Jinja as a committee, we found that the reserves were not only empty, but they were dry,” Mwijukye said.
Kenyans have taken to the streets since Monday, 20 March 2023 protesting what they say is the country’s high cost of living.