Kenya returns Uganda milk worth Shs1bn


Kenya diverted 19 trucks carrying powdered and UHT milk and returned them to Uganda.

According to an internal memo by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), the milk truck loads worth more than Ush1.1 billion ($), were directed to return on varying dates or let in and the goods later seized by Kenya.

This came after the sealing off of the Pearl Dairies depot in Kisumu, western Kenya.

Uganda has already demanded that Kenya stops hostilities on its exports or face reciprocal measures.

Victoria University

According to the memo qouted by Daily Monitor, Uganda is already targeting a number of goods, key among them juices, assorted household items and roofing materials.

Although Ugandan goods, specifically milk, are cleared by the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, they are later seized by Kenya’s inland police once in the country.

Dicksons Kateshumbwa, the URA commissioner for customs, told Daily Monitor in an interview that whereas he has been able to engage his Kenyan counterpart Kevin Safari, he has been informed “the matter is beyond customs.”

Bijoy Varghese, the Pearl Dairy general manager, which produces Lato Milk, said that Kenyan authorities were not providing sufficient explanation on why Lato milk products were being seized.

On Wednesday, Emmanuel Mutahunga, the Trade Ministry commissioner for external trade, told Monitor that Kenyan authorities had informed Uganda that they were going to send back the milk.

The war against Lato Milk exports started at the close of last year.

Gideon Badagawa, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda executive director, said that whereas he was not aware of the milk diversions, there was a breakdown in communication between Ugandan and Kenyan authorities.

Uganda may be tempted to retaliate on a number of Kenyan goods, but experts have expressed concern on the damage such a move would bring to the East African Community.

The EAC treaty bars any form of non-tariff barriers by member states in order to ease trade.



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