Written by Frankline Bwire
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Truck drivers at the parking yard for trucks. They have urged the Ugandan top government officials concerned with their issues to adress their grievances in abid to resolve the arising issues. [Photo | Frankline Bwire]
Truck drivers continued to paralyze activities at the Busia-Uganda Border for the second day, demanding that the Ugandan government to address their grievances.
The drivers blocked the entrance gate to Uganda using their trucks, vowing not to cross to Uganda or allow any vehicle to use the route until the relevant government officers assure them that they will not be harassed.
“We do not have any issue with custom officials in the Kenyan side but we want the roads minister from Uganda, to come and assure us that we will not be harassed when we proceed with our duties in their country,” said a concerned driver.
They claimed that the Ugandan Revenue Authority officials at the border were harassing them a move they said was bringing confusion hence affecting the efficient clearance exercise.
Speaking to journalists at the border, they demanded that the Ugandan government adopts the East African standard agreed weighing method of loads, instead of the axle weight.
They also demanded that the weighbridge at the Uganda customs be relocated to Bustema permanently to decongest trucks at the customs area, besides enhancing speedy clearance and efficient crossing of trucks.
Western provincial commissioner Samuel Kilele confers with the Busia district Commissioner Gitonga Mwiandi after their efforts to convince the drivers failed.
Efforts by the Western Provincial Commissioner Samuel Kilele to convince the truck drivers to call off the strike received resistance from them with some demanding assurance of safety from the Ugandan government officials before they could proceed with their journey.
Accompanied by the Western PPO, Busia district commissioner Gitonga Mwiandi, and other security officials from Busia district, Kilele called for calmness as the issue is handled by the top officials in a bid to get a solution.
He urged them to give priority to dialogue over the matter to ensure it is resolved for normal duties to be resumed at the border.
However, the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association blamed the URA officials of breaching the East African Community protocol aimed at removing the trade barriers in a bid to improve the economy.
The association chairman Moses Ochieng said there was urgent need for immediate removal of trade barriers to prevent the cooperation from collapsing due to negative attitude from one of the partners.
Trucks have however been parked in two rows right from Korinda to Busia town, making it difficult for various activities to be undertaken by the area residents who have also expressed concern over the danger posed by the truck ferrying inflammable products.
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