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EALA members move to enhance cross-border trade

Henry Andanje @PeopleDailyKe

East African Legislative  Assembly (Eala) has put in place measures  to enhance cross-border trade between Kenya and Uganda  by creating market centres in Busia and Malaba.

The proposal was reached over the weekend during a joint meeting among 18 Eala members and stakeholders from Kenya and Uganda.

Eala Northern Corridor team leader Mathias Kasamba said cross-border trade will be enhanced by creating market centres.

“Goods from Uganda can be brought at the border post where Kenyans can buy the commodities while Ugandans can also cross to the Kenyan side and purchase items at cheaper prices,” said Kasamba.

He said the measures  would enhance job creation and improve movement of transit trucks.

Kasamba said Eala is keen to see free movement of people and goods across the border, adding that smuggling is caused by necessity from one side and imbalance of pricing system on either side.

“This calls for harmonisation  of pricing systems as long as the governments continue to create posts and revenue and immigration bodies  continue controlling  revenue, movement  of people  and commodities smuggling will continue  unabated,” he said. 

Busia-Kenya County Commissioner Michael ole Tialal and his Busia-Uganda Resident District Commissioner Hussein Matanda held a joint meeting aimed at enhancing cordial relationship between the two countries.

The two administrators highlighted issues of insecurity along the porous border, smuggling of goods, including frequent conflicts between Kenyan fishermen and Ugandan policemen in Lake Victoria.

It was also resolved that Kenya and Uganda will carry out a joint survey exercise at the disputed Mayenje wetland to curb conflicts.

Kasamba said to address such issues, there is need to create markets to increase volumes of goods produced.

He added that accidents at the border point continue to claim lives noting that the situation can be addressed by facilitating the creation of a trailer park or revenue officers working during weekends to clear trucks along the Northern Corridor.

He said there is need to ensure quick clearance to enable drivers get time to rest before embarking on the long journey.

“The long-distance drivers need to have their trucks inspected and cleared in the shortest time possible to help them get ample time to rest before they travel to their destination,” said Kasamba.

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