Debate on the set up of Uganda’s dry port in Naivasha has not cooled down just yet. This is several weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that Kenya will give Uganda land to build a dry port in Naivasha. This was during the visit by Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni.
Kenyan and Ugandan MPs on Naivasha Dry Port
The Busia County Governor H.E Sospeter Ojaamong, for a third time has made know his reservations over the Naivasha Dry Port. In his address during a funeral in Uganda, the Busia Governor urged Kenyan and Ugandan Members of Parliament from the border regions to push for establishment of an Inland Dry Port (IDP) at Busia or Malaba border points instead of Naivasha.
“Moving a dry port to Naivasha instead of Malaba or Busia would lead to unemployment and lack of business; the proximity of an IDP would be easy for residents of either side to pick their goods in handcarts (mikokoteni) ,” Ojaamong noted.
Wife to Prime Minister
The governor was peaking at the burial of Mrs. Toto Rael Emolot, wife to the Prime Minister of the Iteso Cultural Union (ICU) Mr. Paul Sande Emolot. The burial took place at Koitangiro Village, Mella Sub County in Malaba Uganda on Easter Monday. He further noted that said the push to have the dry port at the border region would facilitate trade at the common border; improving the people’s economic status.
Responding to the Governor’s concerns, Uganda’s State Minister for the East African Community Affairs Hon. Julius Wandera urged the Iteso Cultural community to seek partnerships with government.
He advised on the need to their open up and allow governments to invest in their region by availing land that they own. This, he said, would facilitate development of large scale projects such as the dry port.
Single Customs Territorry
The matter of the Single Customs Territory (SCT) that aims at ensuring seamless flow of goods to enhance intra East African Community Trade was also mentioned.
Busia County women Rep Hon. Florence Mutua revealed that she will seek for an amendment to have clearance of goods carried out at both Mombasa and Malaba/Busia border points. Her push for the amendment was backed by Teso North MP Oku Kaunya and his Teso South counterpart Geoffrey Omuse.
Ongoing review of SCT
The EAC Minister Julius Wandera further confirmed that the review of SCT by East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is on-going. He said the MPS have three months to make their petitions. EALA will then assess its impact and recommend the necessary amendments.
ICU Cultural Leader Emormor Augustine Osuban was among the thousands of mourners in attendance.