Trade Row With Kenya Intensifies as Uganda Impounds Fish Consignment Set for DRC

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni
Yoweri Museveni

Uganda seems to have renewed its trade war with Kenya after impounding huge fish consignments from Kenya destined for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to the Africa Report, several trucks ferrying the consignments were impounded near the Uganda-DRC border last weekend and the drivers were detained.

Confirming the arrests, Uganda’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Protection Unit defended the move claiming the ministry took action after receiving reports that immature fish from Uganda had been smuggled into Kenya.

The Minister further claimed that the fish consignments were then repacked and were being transported to the DRC through Ugandan borders.

Potato ferrying trucks stuck in Kenya-Uganda border.
Potato ferrying trucks stuck in Kenya-Uganda border.
KNCCI/Daily Monitor

The Ugandan Fisheries Minister clarified that the country's laws did not allow fishermen to catch Nile perch less than 50 cm in length.

The move to nab the fish consignment has since triggered uproar among Kenyan fish exporters who now want President William Ruto's administration to intervene.

"I took a loan from the bank to transport fish to DRC. Who will pay for these losses," decried one of the traders who spoke to the Africa Report.

Uganda's decision to impound the consignment has been faulted as a breach of the East African Community bilateral trade agreements.

The Kenyan trades have accused the Ugandan administration of continuous harassment despite initial trade agreements between the two countries.

"That is our fish, we are only using their country as a transit route. Our trucks and driver should be released," called on another trader.

The latest development comes barely two months after President William Ruto hosted Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni for a state visit.

During his visit to Kenya, the two presidents signed seven MoUs during the State Visit including one that would allow seamless trade between the two countries.

From left: President Yoweri Museveni and William Ruto at State House Nairobi, Thursday, May 16.
Ministry of Interior
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