7 January 2013

East Africa: Ugandan Police Extort Cash - Fishmongers

BUSIA fishmongers yesterday accused Ugandan police of demanding bribes as they cross the country en route to the DR Congo. Jua kali Association chair Francis Onyango said the problem began in 2010 when they lost fish worth Sh7 million.

He said the action by the Ugandan police is against the spirit of the East African Common Market protocol which entails free movement of persons, goods and resources across the borders.

Speaking at Jua Kali fish market where governor aspirant Francis Oyatsi and women representative Cynthia Mutere visited them, Onyango called for an end to the harassment.

"My members are still reeling from the loss of Sh7m after fish meant for exports was impounded by Ugandan police in Kampala and later sold off," he said.

Oyatsi said it is unfortunate that the traders suffer in Uganda.

"I will encourage dialogue between the traders and Ugandan authorities on the EAC Common Market protocol once I'm elected governor of Busia," he said.

The traders export 10 tonnes of fish to Ishasha border in Eastern DRC twice a month and seven tonnes to Nairobi everyday except Saturdays.

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