“KACITA is now advising the business community to look for alternative routes including, using the port of Dares salaam which is longer, but more secure for their cargo as Kenyan elections loom”
As neighbouring Kenya nears its general election on 4th March, traders in Uganda are worried that they risk incurring losses on goods transported from the port of Mombasa. The Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) says the traders concerns are valid since they are yet to be compensated for losses amounting to 2.5 billion Ugandan shillings incurred during the 2007 to 2008 post election violence in Kenya
Speaking to URN Wednesday KACITA Chairman Everest Kayondo said many traders lost their merchandise while others lost lives during the post poll chaos in Kenya, yet no compensation has been forthcoming.
KACITA is now advising the business community to look for alternative routes including, using the port of Dares salaam which is longer, but more secure for their cargo. Kayondo noted that the trading community can also safeguard against any potential election eruptions by insuring cargo with policies that cover political risks. He says when goods are lost or damaged before reaching the Ugandan market demand goes up, making commodity prices to sky rocket.
Meanwhile, the Private Sector Foundation is of the view that an alternative route would not only safeguard Ugandan traders from any political upheavals, but would complement the existing Mombasa route.
Gideon Badagwa, PSFU Executive Director, told URN on phone that there is an understanding between Uganda and Tanzania to make the Dare salaam route operational. Badagwa explained that already the two countries are working on counter measures such as renovating MV Pemba and Umoja ferries to ease transport on the Port bell -Mwanza water ways. Uganda has also provided 80 wagons for bulk cargo which can be transported via road through Malaba. Badagwa indicated that the business community has received assurances from Kenyan authorities that it’s unlikely that this year’s elections will be marred by violence. Kenya Ports Authority Head of Corporate Affairs Bernard Osero earlier confirmed to URN that such assurances had been made. The Kenyan General Elections are will see the President, Senators, County Governors, Members of Parliament, Civic Wards and Women County Representatives elected.