Anxiety in Uganda, Western Kenya as poll results delay
Posted Thursday, March 7 2013 at 02:00
Prices of fuel yesterday threatened to rise as business at border points remained dull.
The delay to officially release the election results of the Kenyan presidential election is already causing anxiety, and affecting operations of the Ugandan business community.
By close of business yesterday, as Kenyans and East Africans in general waited for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to tally the votes — businesses in Nairobi remained closed and so was the Mombasa port — which Uganda heavily depends on for its imports.
A source from Kisumu, Mr Onyango Akumu, said: “Business is slow. The economy has been in a shutdown since Monday. At least today, some shops are open.” Experts say this effect has trickled into Uganda’s business activity as fewer and fewer imports and exports are transiting through Mombasa.
The Marketing Manager Kobil Uganda-Kenol, Kobil Kenya subsidiary, Mr Hannington Mpiima, in an interview with the Daily Monitor said: “Business has not yet picked up as we expected and until our parent company resumes operation that’s when we shall have a clear position.”
Experts say fuel being a complimentary product which affects almost all operations, its unsteady supplies has started forcing some players to 4increase prices. Mr Mpiima said: “The supplies we have currently are not what one would say is enough but we are trying to work within what we have and also opting to use other channels like the Dar es Salaam route.”
The price of petrol at all the Total Uganda fuel stations has increased from Shs3,800 early this week to Shs3,900 yesterday. However, other players are still selling at between Shs3,800 and Shs3,850 per litre. Diesel and Kerosene prices have remained stable at Shs3,500 and Shs2,800 respectively.
The Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner Customs, Mr Richard Kamajugo, also said business was just beginning to pick up but still not at its normal rate. “We have seen a slight pick of business currently rated at about 40 per cent at Busia border. Trucks started trickling in on Tuesday but generally the situation has not gone back to normal yet,” Mr Kamajugo said.
On a normal day, URA clears at least 1,100 trucks from both border points but because of the elections less than that were cleared.