18 October 2012

Uganda: Timber Traders Decry Police Harassment

Timber traders in Mpondwe market along the Uganda-DRC border are unhappy with the police and army here.

The traders accuse the two organs manning the two border points of harassing them and destroying their timber. Kamalha Kisekedi, a trader told The Observer that often, the both the cops and army officers force them to pay unauthorized taxes.

"We pay over seven different types of taxes but at every 15km, we find police and the officers demand for money," Kisekedi says.

"And if you don't pay, they beat you and confiscate your timber."

As a result, Kisekedi says, they are forced to sell their timber at giveaway prices.

"Knowing that the truck has been hired on credit for a specified number of days, we have no choice but to sell our timber at any price, so long as no penalties are imposed upon us for failure to comply with the time limit."

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