To allow easy movement of goods and services across the border along Busia’s one-stop border post there is a need to improve scanning machines by introducing modern scanning machines on both sides of Kenya and Uganda border posts.
Addressing the residents of Busia in a tour of the East Africa community cabinet secretary Ms Peninnah Malonza said governments of both counties will put their resources together and make sure that modern scanning machines are obtained.
“In our tour along the border on both sides we have realized that the scanning machines do not meet the required standard for quick clearing of goods. There is a need to have modern machines to reduce long track queues as a result of old scanning machines.” She said.
She further noted that there is a need to operationalize the Mulwanda Border point in Funyula constituency adding that the Kenyan side is waiting for Uganda to open their sides before they operationalize the border.
“More border points should be opened to allow easy movement of goods and services across Uganda. We know that Mulwanda border point was gazetted by Kibaki’s government but we are waiting for the Ugandan government to open their sides before we can operationalize the border.” She said
Accompanied by her Ugandan counterpart Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the cabinet secretary noted that the Kenyan government is working towards improving infrastructure in the county including the road network to ease transportation.
“The government is working hard to make sure that the road network in Busia is improved to ease transportation of goods and services across the border. It is not fair to take 45 minutes to fly to Kisumu from Nairobi and you take almost 2 hours to drive to Busia. That is why we should have an airstrip in Busia for ease of movement to Busia from Nairobi and Entebbe,” she stated
The deputy prime minister and the minister of the East Africa community in the republic of Uganda Ms Rebecca Kadaga urged the citizens of the member states to embrace unity and avoid mistakes made by those who contributed to the collapse of the community during the era of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s leadership.
“Between 1967 and 1977 we had the East Africa community which collapsed, but we are trying to ensure that the new community is for the people and to do so we should avoid the mistakes of the past. We are here to assess the impact of the customs union, and open more strategies at the border so that we can continue working together as a community,” she said
In her speech, Ms Kadaga directed Uganda officers to gazette Mulwanda and Buteba border points to officialize them.
“I have directed the officers in charge in Uganda to gazette the two border points of Mulwanda and Buteba. This will open more avenues for ease movement of goods and services across the two counties.”
She added, “I have also been informed that there are more than 50 illegal routes across the two countries, we are going to sit down and agree out of the fifty routes how many can we formalize so that we don’t subject our people to longer distances looking for a formal route to and out of Uganda.”
On the need to use one currency across the community, the Ugandan deputy prime minister said that the heads of the states by December will agree on the use of the common currency across the East African community to avoid losses traders get when doing business across the states.
“We have also discussed the issue of the common currency, we hope that in December our heads of state in the East Africa Community will decide on the issue of the common currency. It is a bit frustrating for the traders, in the morning you are changing at different rates, and in the evening, you are changing at different rates, that is a bit challenging to our people,” she stated.