Tororo. Hundreds of empty and loaded transit trucks destined for Kenya remained stranded at Malaba and Busia Uganda customs yards for fear of running into chaotic situations in eastern Kenya as protests broke out following the declaration of president Uhuru Kenyatta as president-elect on Friday night.
Mr James Malinzi, the Uganda Revenue Authority eastern regional manager, told Sunday Monitor in Malaba yesterday that most of the drivers and importers still feared to venture into our western neighbour.
“We were forced to advise the importers and transporters to halt their movement to allow the situation to calm down other than taking chances to risk their trucks and goods,” Mr Malinzi said.
Some Ugandans were in 2007/08 caught up in the post-election violence that broke out after the opposition’s Raila Odinga disputed the re-election of former president Mwai Kibaki in December 2007.
A section of the railway line connecting to Uganda was uprooted and trucks would not ply the route during the violence. This led to scarcity of supplies of goods and fuel in Uganda.
Similar fears mounted during the build-up to the Tuesday election, but the Kenyan security forces this time deployed heavily in the areas where violence was anticipated, particularly Kisumu in eastern Kenya and Kibera in Nairobi.
Mr Malinzi said the trucks had started venturing into Kenya by Friday morning, but the movement was halted after a Southern Sudanese registered truck that was moving from Kisumu to Busia was almost burnt until the Kenyan police intervened. He said, however, that they had continued to clear cargo trucks from Mombasa to Uganda, although at a considerably reduced rate.
Mr Malinzi said they were liaising with their counterparts in Kenya to establish allegations that a Uganda-bound truck had been burnt in Kenya.