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Busia fish traders protest demanding release trucks seized in Uganda

Fish traders in Busia town today held demonstrations demanding the release of a lorry ferrying fish that was seized by the Ugandan authorities.

The irate protesters blockaded the busy Busia highway causing a major snarl-up at the border point demanding the release of the lorry transporting fish worth over 50 million from lake Turkana to Congo that  was reportedly held by the Ugandan military.

The protest saw the traders carry placards with their grievances to the Kenyan government citing frustration from the Ugandan counterpart for holding their fish and other products even after using the rightful clearance procedure at the Busia One Stop Border.

Traders are now counting huge losses following endless frustration and harassment from the Ugandan military since 2010 to date. The seized lorries were carrying fish from Lake Turkana, and River Tana.

According to Wycliffe Oketch, the Chairman of fish traders in Busia town, traders had vowed to block entry and exit of any goods from Uganda until their trucks were released.

“The Ugandan government is harassing and humiliating us.  We asked for reasons why they are holding the lorry but they are yet to give us any substantive reasons for their action,” he decried adding that they ‘had promised to release our fish today but they have not met their part of the promise.’’

Fish trade which contributes to at least 45 percent of Busia County income, creating over 7000 job opportunities ranging from fishermen, traders, loaders, and transporters has proved to be key to the economy of Busia county.

After two hours of a consultative meeting between Busia County Commissioner John Korir, DCC Kipchupa Ruto and ACC Busia Municipality together with KRA officials drawn from Kenya and Uganda traders agreed to open the border.

Busia Fish Traders Protest Demanding Release trucks Seized in Uganda

We have held meetings with the customs officials drawn from Kenya and Uganda, we have resorted to saying that on Monday we will move to Entebe to solve the issue once and for all,” noted CC Korir.

“I want to promise you that Kenyan government is alert and ready to protect its citizens and with the help of East African Community partnership, traders should be allowed to do trade freely as we belong to the common market,” added Korir.

Felly Arringa, one of the traders whose 2 trucks were confiscated now wants the Kenyan government to protect youths from Cartels who collude with Uganda military to frustrate small-scale traders.  

The fish business has helped us earn a living and sustain our lives, withholding our fish will be a great loss to us who depend on it,” she said.

Traders now vow to continue with daily demonstrations if their plights will not be addressed by the Kenyan government.

SourceKNA
The Countyhttps://thecounty.co.ke
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