22 February 2013

Zambia Sugar Wants Marooned Sugar Released

ZAMBIA Sugar Company has submitted a customs entry request to Kenyan authorities for the release of hundreds of tonnes of sugar which is marooned at the border in that country, corporate affairs manager Lovemore Sievu has said.

The 10 trucks ladden with the product have been marooned at Namanga on the Tanzania-Kenya border for more than three weeks now after Kenyan authorities refused its entry.

Mr Sievu said yesterday, the process to submit the entry request had been done but that, Zambia Sugar remained uncertain about sugar exports into Kenya because authorities have not assured the company that future sugar exports to that country would continue to be allowed.

He appealed to both the Zambian and Kenyan governments to ensure that sugar from Zambia was allowed into that country as per Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa-Free Trade Area (Comesa-FTA) Protocol agreements.

"We call upon Government to liaise with their Kenyan counterparts to allow Sugar from Zambia into the Kenyan market as per COMESA-FTA Protocols agreement," Mr Sievu said.

More than 10 trucks carrying Zambian sugar destined for the Kenyan market has been marooned at the border despite Zambia Sugar meeting all export regulations including the Comesa rules of origin.

Meanwhile, Government has said it is doing everything possible to ensure that more than 10 trucks carrying Zambian Sugar which are marooned at the Tanzania-Kenya border are released.

Commerce, Trade and Industry Permanent Secretary Stephen Mwansa said in an interview yesterday that Government was doing everything possible within the framework of regional integration including evoking provisions of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA-FTA) Protocol to ensure that the sugar was allowed into that country.

"We are doing everything possible within the framework of regional integration including evoking provisions of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Protocol to ensure that the sugar is allowed into that country," Mr Mwansa said. Zambia is a surplus sugar producer with production capacity exceeding 450, 000 tonnes per annum.

A third of sugar produced in Zambia is consumed locally, while the surplus is exported to the European Union and the East African region which Kenya is part of.

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