President Museveni says there will be no milk war with the neighbouring Kenya.
Museveni’s remarks come after Uganda government wrote to its Kenyan counterparts regarding the confiscated 23 tonnes of Lato Milk products produced by Pearl Dairies Ltd.
According to Uganda’s Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde, through the Foreign Affairs Ministry, they have written to the Kenyan government to give an update and response within 14 days.
Kyambadde said as the Minister of Trade, she tried to contact her counterpart in Kenya, but because of the reshuffles that went on in Kenya recently, she couldn’t get in touch with the new Kenya Cabinet Minister for Trade.
Recently, several traders distributing Ugandan milk in Kenya saw their products confiscated by authorities in Kenya, even when they have evidence that they had paid duties to get the milk into the country.
Kenya Anti-counterfeit Unit early this week raided Milk distributors in Meru in eastern Kenya and confiscated up to 23 tonnes of milk.
As if that was not enough, 19 trucks carrying powered and UHT milk have been returned to Uganda or diverted by Kenyan authorities.
The milk truck loads worth more than Shs1.1bn were directed to return on varying dates or diverted with their goods that are later seized by Kenyan authorities.
Addressing the ruling NRM party top organ NEC Friday, Museveni said: “The other day I saw Kenya blocking our milk and i saw people here saying they will retaliate.”
“No, I won’t allow that, President Kenyatta is a good person and he is a business man.”
He added: “We need to deal with our people and explain to them that protectionism is not the right way.”
Museveni said village people are very simple deal with, “you don’t have to give them money, all they need is advice”.
“It’s the way you approach them, be truthful and don’t give them false hopes. I am going to go back to the Luweero triangle and show you what mobilisation is all about.”
Museveni told NRM leaders at State House Entebbe that the second strategic channel is economic liberalisation.
The NRM did this by withdrawing government from the transport system and hotels.
“In the past, you would only find one bus on the road and if it left you, you had to travel another day. Now you go on any road at any time. There’re so many cars.”
“Our economy has grown by about 8 times since 1986. Because of that, there are 4,820 factories and 8,400 companies in the service sector.”
He said the factories are employing 700, 000. The service sector -1.3 million Ugandans. The total of employed Ugandans is 2.2m people.
“We’ve too much maize, bananas, milk, sugar cane. I was in Jinja the other day and people were crying ebikaddho binji kamala (big surplus). Ugandans have woken up from kulambala (sleeping) and now they will see better what we (NRM) have brought for them.”