Legislators have called for reciprocation against Kenya following the ban of Uganda’s maize last week.
The Members of Parliament say the Kenyan government has banned other commodities like milk, eggs and sugarcane.
Kenya in a statement last week, banned the importation of maize from Uganda citing high levels of aflatoxins which pose a threat to humans. This has seen over 150 trucks of maize stuck at border.
MPs however, rejected such the justification following the ban on other commodities saying Kenya was disguising under quality to push for an agenda that Ugandan government should unearth.
Busia Municipality MP Geoffrey Macho who raised a matter of national importance said Kenya’s action will not only hurt trade in the region but the spirit of the East African Community integration.
“We see this as a big joke aimed to hinder the East African Community. It is a big shame; Kenya should separate development from politics,” Macho said.
Macho called for a ban on mangoes, Irish potatoes and rice from Kenya adding that, ‘Kenya must stop the trade wars’.
Bugweri County MP, Abdu Katuntu said that there benefits of the integration process are not seen with these bans by the Kenyan government calling for action from the Ugandan side.
“Trade is of mutual benefit. We are not ready to be bullied by Kenya and we are not being done a favour by trading with Kenya,” Katuntu said adding that, ‘this is not about quality, this is protectionism; it seems Kenya government is trying to protect its farmers.’
The Speaker’s procession makes its way to the House. Speaker Kadaga chaired the sitting.
Legislators expressed displeasure with the fact that Ugandan supermarkets are flooded with Kenyan products yet Ugandan government stays silent when Kenya bans Ugandan products.
“There are over 10,000 Kenyan companies trading in Uganda. Kenyans are trading well in Uganda but it is not easy for Ugandans to trade in Kenya; it is high time for the Ugandan government to respond,” Joseph Ssewungu (DP, Kalungu West) said.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga who chaired the sitting of the House said Ugandans feel let down by government’s silence.
“I think our government has let us down by allowing our neighbors to mistreat us. Why can’t we reciprocate? This is an issue of our sovereignty and foreign policy,” Kadaga said.
The Speaker directed the executive to present a statement on the actions taken, on Wednesday, 10 March 2021.
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