Saturday May 30, 2020 – Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, has rejected directives by the Kenyan Government to have all transit cargo cleared in Naivasha instead of Mombasa.

This follows protests by Mombasa traders who rejected President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive shifting clearance of cargo from the Coastal City to Naivasha.

Kenya has also been pushing for the SGR to play a key role in transporting cargo to Naivasha, instead of using the road network. 

Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary, James Macharia, received a letter from his Ugandan counterpart, Katumba Wamala, which explained in detail why they were against the directive that led to protests in Mombasa.

According to the letter, Uganda wants clearance at the Naivasha dry port to be optional.

CS Macharia tried to woo Uganda into accepting the deal by offering incentives such as a 30-day free storage period.

More than half of transit cargo at the Mombasa port is transported to Uganda after Museveni and Uhuru struck a deal in 2019.

Uganda and Mombasa activists are not opposed to the idea of using SGR to transport cargo but want it to be used as an alternative, rather than a compulsory mode of transport. 

Joining the protest, Shippers Council of East Africa CEO, Gilbert Lang’at, sided with road transporters defending their cause of concern.

Lang’at argued that despite the SGR being an investment that cost billions, road users should also be allowed to transport cargo.


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