Uganda National Resistance Movement (NRM) Vice-chairman Eastern Region Captain Mike Mukula paid a courtesy call to Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong in his Okilidu home on Sunday with a special message from President Yoweri Museveni.
Addressing the press after the one hour meeting, Captain Mukula said the Uganda government is keen in partnering with Busia County and National Government to construct a Free Zone area in Busia where goods may be landed, stored, manufactured or reconfigured and re-exported under specific customs regulations and generally not being subjected to customs duty.
Captain Mukula said what Uganda wants from Busia County and the Kenya government are land, electricity and security, adding that Uganda will assist in getting partners.
Governor Ojaamong said his government was ready to offer 90 acres of land to facilitate the process, adding that his County welcomes Ugandan investors into the County with an open heart.
Captain Mukula also underscored the need to lift trade barriers at the Malaba and Busia borders to expedite the clearance of goods and services destined for Uganda and other Great Lakes Region.
“Uganda is the largest trading partner with Kenya, thus the need to reduce trade barriers,” he said, adding that there are many road blocks between Kisumu, Busia, Eldoret and Malaba which is hampering trade in the region.
He said the construction of One Stop Border Post on the Keeya-Uganda border was meant to eliminate trade barriers, but police road blocks are impacting negatively on the realization of the East African Common Market Protocol.
“I take about 45 minutes to fly to Nairobi but I take two to three hours to clear a new car at the border which is equivalent to flying to Nairobi and back over four times,” he said.
Governor Ojaamong urged Uganda to review the East African Community law on clearance of goods that has rendered clearance agents at the Busia and Malaba border jobless.