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Kenyan Fish Mongers Protest Over Impounded Trucks

Godfrey Ongwabe, the national chairperson of cross border trade, told URN that when he followed up on the impounded fish with the Ministry of Agriculture he was told that it was immature and lacks a clear place of origin.
Fish mongers carrying plea cards at the Busia Kenya border main gate

Audio 6

Business grounded to a halt at Busia border on Friday when fishmongers from Busia County in Kenya rose up in arms protesting the impounding of their fish at Mpondwe border in Kasese with the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC. 

The fisher mongers accused the Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and Uganda People’s Defence Forces- UPDF of impounding five trucks of dry fish valued at Shillings 60million destined for DRC on Monday. 

The traders who carried placards and blew whistles blocked Ugandan registered trucks from crossing into Kenya paralyzing traffic for more than six hours demanding that the Ugandan government releases their fish. 

They claimed that no Ugandan authorities had come up to give them clear information as to why their fish was impounded. Godfrey Ongwabe, the national chairperson of cross border trade, told URN that when he followed up on the impounded fish with the Ministry of Agriculture he was told that it was immature and lacks a clear place of origin. 

He, however, said that he had written to the Ministry asking them to release the fish, saying there is no reason to impound goods in transit from another country.  

English audio:

//Cue in: "Not come out:...             

Cue out:...EAS and COMESA"//  

Milikisa Achieng, a fishmonger at Busia county fish market in Kenya, said that they want the Ugandan government to explain why their consignment was impounded and when it will be released since it was cleared at the Uganda-Kenya border.

Kiswahili audio:

//Cue in: "We want tune...                         

Cue out:...ama ni siku gani"//

Linete Asinah, another fishmonger says that the decision of the Ugandan government to impound their fish is contrary to the cross border trade policy that prohibits a government to impound goods on transit.  

Kiswahili audio;

//Cue in; "Kwa nini ikishaa......           

Cue out:...tumefukuswa kwa ma,"//

James Walusimbi, a Ugandan trucker from Masaka district destined for Nairobi city is one of those who were caught up in the protest. He explained that the protesters blocked them from crossing into Kenya, which affected their journey.    

Luganda audio:

//Cue in: "Kiki ekigenda mu maaso...    

   

 Cue out:...mu sitruggle yabwe"//

Vincent Wafula Omanya, a clearing agent at the Busia one-stop border post, said the protest paralyzed their business since nothing was moving.  

Kiswahili audio:

//Cue in: "Is the only....         

 

 Cue out:...of them here,"//  

 

Connie Acayo, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries told URN that they impounded the five trucks after the drivers fled after arriving at the checkpoint at Mpondwe post.

The trucks are currently parked in the parking yard pending the appearance of their owners. She says that they will not open the trucks until the owners show up.