A storm is brewing between Uganda, Rwanda business communities and Kenyan Government over compensation following the 2008 Post Election related violence.
The two landlocked countries are demanding Sh4.9 billion as compensation for the destruction of their trucks and goods along the Northern Corridor (Nairobi-Eldoret-Kampala highway).
They argue that it is four years since Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki promised to compensate them in a meeting held in January at Harambee House. The matter is threatening to disrupt harmonious relations between Kenya and the two greatest trade partners of Uganda and Rwanda, according to Kenyan Standard.
Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita) and Rwanda’s Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA) have raised concern over the issue. Ugandan business community is planning to hold a peaceful demonstration in Kampala if the matter is not resolved by end of this month.
“We express concern and fear that our people lost properties during the 2008 election violence in Kenya. It is part of this concern that Ugandan traders are now planning to divert their goods through the Dar es Salaam port for fear of election violence next year,” Kacita spokesman Issa Sekitto, said in an interview with the Standard.
“We want assurance from the Kenyan Government in the form of a compensatory note that the traders will be compensated by end of this month failure to which we shall mobilise our members to demonstrate at the Kenyan High Commission offices in Kampala.”
In a letter written to President Kibaki and seen by the Standard, Rwanda’s Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA) want the President to intervene and have them compensated before next year’s elections.
“Your Excellency’s kind attention is drawn to January 29th 2012 at Harambee House where you issued a directive to the Deputy Prime Minister and former minister of Finance Uhuru Kenyatta and Minister of East Africa Community affairs Musa Sirma to settle the claims of the traders affected by the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya,” Bosco Rusagara, the then president of FEAFFA writes.
“You are issued a two-week deadline to put closure to the long standing saga. The minutes of that meeting were considered and a resolution to the effect passed.”
But East African Community Minister Musa Sirma said the matter is being looked into and assured the private sectors of both Uganda and Rwanda of an amicable resolution to the matter.
“The Government under the then Trade Minister Chirau Mwakwere formed a committee which was later handed over to the Permanent Secretaries. The PS’ in turn are expected to prepare a cabinet memo for discussion and action. The matter is expected to be brought before the cabinet for a solution,” Sirma explained.
Ugandan, Rwandan traders demand Sh5b compensation from Kenya