Business at the Katuna border with Rwanda has on Thursday come to a standstill. This after Rwanda Revenue Authority blocked trucks and other heavy vehicles from crossing into Rwanda.
According to witnesses at the border post in Kabale District, only smaller cars and pedestrians were allowed to cross into and out both countries.
According to Rosine Uwamariya, the Commissioner for Customs at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), the border has been closed to pave way for the upgrade of the one-stop border post (OSBP).
Reports from Kigali indicate that the OSBP will be completed in the next three months after more than two years of delay.
The original contract for the project, which was supposed to end by March 9, 2016, was amicably terminated in July 2017 and payments of Rwf 3.1billion had been made to the previous contractor at the time of terminating the contract.
In a letter to Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner for Customs dated Thursday, February 28, Uwamariya said heavy trucks would be diverted to other border crossings such as Mirama Hills/Kagitumba.
“We are considering reducing the traffic of heavy trucks to allow completion of the OSBP infrastructure,” read the letter.
“In view of the above, Rwanda Revenue Authority would like to inform you that with effect from 28th February 2019, all heavy trucks carrying goods destined and those transiting via Gatuna shall be temporarily diverted from using Gatuna Border Post to Kagitumba/Mirama Hills border posts,” she added.
However, locals on both ends of the border have come out to quickly point out the ongoing tension between the two governments.
Tension Flare as #Rwanda Blocks Its Nationals, Vehicles from Crossing to #Uganda. It is indicated that Rwanda has closed all its border entry points with Uganda including #Kakitumba, #Katuna and #Kyanika. “In the circumstances, Uganda continues…” Theo Mpoze tweeted.
Kigali accuses Kampala of harassing its nationals while Kampala denies the claim.