By Ahura Mujuni Mark
Kenya Revenue Authority has stopped over 220 metric tons of Uganda-manufactured sugar from entering the country, arguing that it could either be duty free sugar that Uganda imported, or it is being exported to bribe voters.The move comes when it is just days to Kenyan elections which are set for March 4.
Mwine Jim Kabeho, the chairman Uganda Sugar Producers Association says Kenya Revenue Authority has refused to clear sugar worth $190,000 (Shs494m) since January 8, which has since attracted high demurrage and interest costs to both the manufacturers and the importers, adding that despite several letters to Kenya Revenue Authority, requesting for explanations why the sugar is not being cleared, the requests have been turned down.
A team of Kenyan investigators were recently in Uganda on a verification exercise of the sugar from Uganda and tested the Sugar from Kakira and Lugazi.
The Director of the East African Business Council, Kasim Omar insists that after the verification exercise, it could be other business players in Kenya influencing the Kenyan government to block Uganda’s Sugar from entering into Kenya.
Though the East African Countries are encouraging an integration process, the challenge of self interests by member countries.