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Drivers Protest Kenya's Decision Blocking Importation of Ugandan Cane

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Geoffrey Barasa, the Chairperson Sugar Cane Trader’s Association, says they blocked the border because of delays by the relevant authorities to respond to their concerns. He said the Ugandan authorities have not come out to explain to the cause of the impasse which has left the traders hopeless.
A loaded cane truck parked in the junction between customs road and Sofia road at Busia boarder

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Cane truck drivers have staged a demonstration along Custom road in Busia municipality protesting a decision by the Kenyan government to stop the importation of sugarcane from Uganda.

The drivers packed their trucks loaded with sugarcane in the middle of Customs road on Wednesday, which paralyzed transport and other businesses in the area.  

It took the intervention of police to clear the road that was blocked for almost three hours. 

The protest comes a few days after Kenyan authorities started enforcing the ban on the importation of Ugandan cane that was announced by the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya recently.

Geoffrey Barasa, the Chairperson Sugar Cane Trader’s Association, says they blocked the border because of delays by the relevant authorities to respond to their concerns. 

According to Barasa, Ugandan authorities haven’t come out to explain the cause of the impasse, which has affected their business.  

//Cue in: “Olwaleero tusazewo… 

     

Cue out:....tebali kutufaako"//     

Diddy Ochen, a truck driver says despite writing several letters to the concerned authorities, they haven’t received any feedback.    

//Cue in: "Buli chimu wobeera…   

Cue out.....terri Office etamanyi"//    

George Mutebi, a cane trader says they are stuck and can't return to Busoga with loaded cane trucks. 

He urged government to plead with their Kenyan counterparts to allow them deliver their sugarcane to their clients to save them from losses.      

//Cue in: “Abatuuze erra nga…. 

 

Cue out........Dala Dala tujjee was"//     

Faziira Biribawa, a resident along Busia custom road appealed to government to intervene in the matter because they are at risk of contracting diseases associated with truck drivers.   

//Cue in: "Nnaye abebikajo…    

Cue out:.....batwaale ebikajjo"//          

James Malinzi, the Uganda Revenue Authority- URA Eastern Region Manager, says they communicated the concerns of the cane truck drivers to the Trade Ministry, which has promised to engage Kenyan authorities.

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