Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Row threatens to derail container depot project in Uganda

A controversy over the construction of a cargo facility at Tororo, Uganda, is threatening to stall the project which would have decongested Kenya’s Malaba and Busia border posts and hastened the transshipment of cargo from Mombasa to Kampala and other regional destinations.

Pitting freighters on one side and Uganda’s ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry on the other hand, the controversy is likely to affect Kenya’s manufacturing sector which suppliers most of consumer goods to Uganda.

According to the Economic Survey 2008, Uganda is Kenya’s largest trading partner; it absorbed Kenyan goods worth over Sh33 billion in 2007 mainly due to exports of malt beer.

Freighters take as long as one week to get clearance papers to deliver cargo to Uganda.

The congestion at the border posts has resulted to pile-up at the port of Mombasa as few freighters are willing to clear their cargo in time.