Uganda, Tz confirm plans to revive southern route
Posted Friday, February 8 2013 at 02:00
Trade. The route is expected to ensure continuity in supply and efficiency of services from Kenya’s Mombasa Port, the government says.
The Ministry of Finance has confirmed plans to revive the use of the southern route through Tanzania to end uncertainties Uganda faces while transporting goods from Kenya’s Mombasa Port into the country.
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka yesterday said the Uganda and Tanzania governments have endorsed the plan, adding that all line agencies were in advanced stages to implement it. Ms Kiwanuka said there has always been a southern route through Mwanza or Mutula Town to Dar-es-Salaam, but noted that the current plan was not a short-term intervention in anticipation of the forthcoming elections in Kenya.
“It is important for Uganda to have at least two alternative routes for continuity in supply and efficiency of services,” she said, adding: “This is a long term plan because the most expensive good is one that does not reach or delays.”
The decision came after a joint ministerial meeting in Tanzania on January 25.
The meeting, the minister said was keen on ensuring smooth and rapid movement of goods through the route for both international and regional trade.
Ms Kiwanuka said the two countries also confirmed the availability of MV Kaawa, immediate dedication of MV Umoja for Uganda-destined cargo operation on Lake Victoria and the rehabilitation of Port Bell.
Junior Transport minister John Byabagambi said Kenya has been imposing non-tariff barriers, sometimes barring Uganda from using railway transport for bulk cargo.
“When you have one route and you are dictated upon by that particular country you are passing through, it is not good,” Mr Byabagambi said.