Evidence submitted by the Kenyan Government shows that Uganda was charging Kenya poultry meat Value Added Tax of 18 percent and withholding tax of six percent which is not applied to locally produced like foods, one percent of infrastructure levy, six percent of withholding tax on processed chicken meat and six percent tax for broilers and layer day old-chicks
The government of Kenya has started defending itself in a
case in which Kampala based lawyer Male Mabirizi sued it for banning Ugandan
Maize and poultry in their country.
In its defense filed before the East African Court of
Justice in Nairobi Sub registry, the Kenya government says it banned the said
commodities to protect their farmers who were recovering from the effects of
Covid-19 pandemic from competition as well as to prevent the dumping of toxic chemicals,
substances and hazardous wastes within the community.
On March 11 2021,
Mabirizi sued the Kenyan government challenging it's two directives one issued
of January 14 2021 and another on March 5 2021, banning importation of maize and
chicken products from Uganda.
According to the Director General of Kenya Agriculture and
Food Authority Kello Harsama , he directed the Commissioner Customs and Kenya
Revenue Authority to stop with immediate effect the importation of maize from
Uganda and Tanzania saying that various studies had shown that they contained mycotoxins beyond the permitted levels.
Mabirizi also challenged the January 14th 2021 internal Memo
where the Kenyan Director of Veterinary Services banned the importation of chicken
cuts and eggs from the East African Community-EAC.
Mabirizi told court that the ban on the importation of goods from
EAC Partner States is unlawful and infringes the operational principles of the
community which among others encourages free movement of goods, transparency,
democracy and rule of law, account and equitable distribution of benefits.
As such, Mabirizi asked court to quash the directives and
issue a permanent order restraining Kenya from implementing its directives on
ground of being illegal.
However, in their defense which URN has seen, Kenya through
her two State Attorneys from the Attorney General's chambers Martin Munene and
Mary Murungi, say Mabirizi is not entitled to the reliefs he sought and the
matter should be dismissed because the case has no merit.
On the issue of banning importation of poultry, Kenya says
that it is one of the subsectors that was greatly affected due to covid-19
restrictions and once they were eased, there was apparent flooding of eggs and
poultry products from across borders giving Kenyan Enterprises no time to
recover. This, Kenya attributes it to significantly low prices of the inflows
leading to restricting of inflows of poultry and its products from Uganda and
"The respondent further states that there had been
complaints from the poultry industry stakeholders in regard to the negative
impact of importation of table eggs and chicken meat causing local poultry
farmers to suffer losses in their businesses due to unfair competition with
cheap imports in form of whole chicken carcasses and table eggs specifically
from Uganda”, reads the defense part.
According to Kenya Uganda also put in place tariff measures
that make their (Kenyan) poultry products uncompetitive while it enjoying
unhindered access to the Kenyan market.
For instance, evidence submitted by the Kenyan Government
shows that Uganda was charging Kenya poultry meat Value Added Tax of 18 percent
and withholding tax of six percent which is not applied to locally produced
like foods, one percent of infrastructure levy, six percent of withholding tax
on processed chicken meat and another six percent tax for broilers and layer
day old chicks.
As such, the Nairobi administration contends that Uganda
made it very difficult for Kenyan products to access Ugandan market which led
to dumping of poultry into Kenyan market.
"The respondent further state that as a result of the
above, poultry meat and table eggs from Uganda were being sold at a
considerably lower price in Kenya than they were in Uganda placing the Kenyan poultry
farmer at a disadvantage as their products were not able to compete in their
own market", adds defense.
On the issue of
banning maize, Kenya argues that test results for maize imported from Uganda
and Tanzania revealed high levels of mycotoxins that were consistently beyond
safety limits which lead to acute and chronic aflatoxin illnesses.
Accordingly, Kenya says that the Common Market Protocol
requires partner states to take prompt measures in the event of serious injury occurring
to the economy of one of them.
"The injury may be so grave such that by the time the
offending Partner State is heard, extensive damage has already occurred hence
the reason the respondent opted for a prompt and immediate action", reads
The government of Kenya now denies ever breaching any laws
enshrined in the East African Community Treaty and wants the case dismissed.
However, Mabirizi says that what is important is that Kenya
has accepted having committed the allegations against them.