The ban by Kenya on the importation of Ugandan sugar is hurting the business, Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industries – UNCCI has revealed. Sundeep Mohanty, the Vice president of UNCCI says that the effect of the ban, which has been in place since December 2012 has started spreading to other sectors beyond the sugar industry.
Mohanty however, says that government has sent a team to Kenya to help seek an end to the ban adding that, Uganda Revenue Authority also sent a team to the Uganda-Kenyan border to verify the situation and establish the quantity of goods being held at the border. Mohanty fears that if allowed to continue, the ban would set a bad precedent among the East African community member countries who are supposed to enjoy free movement of goods and services.
He says Uganda National Chambers of Commerce and Industry is piling pressure on the government to quickly help end the impasse, which he said was causing worry among Ugandan traders. Mohanty says there has been no clear explanation from the Kenyan authorities over the ban.
Monanty explained that a wide section of the business community ranging from sugar cane farmers, producers and traders who have been seeking to expand their capacity to target the East African market have been hit by the ban. In 2009, five countries comprising Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania signed a protocol on the establishment of the East African Community Common Market, which became operational on 1 July 2010.
The common market provides for free movement of goods, labor, services and capital. This is aimed at boosting trade, investments and increasing productivity across the region.