Friday August 29 2014

Kenyan clearing agents close border

By David Shapil

TORORO/MALABA- Business at Malaba border came to a stand still for about six hours on Tuesday after Kenyan clearing agents closed the border paralysing the traffic to much of the Great Lakes Region.

The agents were protesting the arrest of a Kenyan Revenue Authority official by Ugandan police officers after he ignored passing through security scan machine.

The incident, which happened at around 9am, angered Kenyan agents who barricaded the road just 10 meters away from the no man’s land.

In a meeting held at Kenya customs, the agents demanded the unconditional release of the officer and arrest of Ugandan Police officers involved in the saga.

Mr Edwin Othieno the chairman Kenyan Clearing Agents Association accused Ugandan Police officers of extortion and harassment.

Mr Geoffrey Balamaga, the URA eastern regional manager, said there would be a brief suspension of joint clearance to allow the matter to get settled. He also apologised to Kenyan agents, saying they would ensure it doesn’t happen again.