Tanzania cuts levy for Uganda cargo trucks

President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan with President Museveni at State House Entebbe yesterday as she started her two-day state visit to Uganda. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • The two states enjoy warm and cordial historical bilateral relations dating back to the 1960s, and recent Bank of Uganda statistics showed that Tanzania was Uganda’s biggest source of imports in the region.

Tanzania will starting next 2022/2023 financial year this July charge $10 (about Shs35,000) per 100 kms on Uganda-bound cargo trucks plying the 1,485km Mutukula-Dar es Salaam route.

The $10 translates into about $144 (Shs512,377) for the distance, down from the $500 (Shs1,779,087) that the Dodoma government had slapped on Ugandan cargo trucks mid-last year as fees collected for road repairs and maintenance.

Kampala immediately protested and filed a complaint with the East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers accusing Dodoma of breaching the Common Market Protocol by imposing different road user charges to partner states in the same trading bloc. The Common Market is one of the pillars of the seven member regional bloc.

While Dodoma had increased the levy on Uganda-bound cargo trucks, it maintained that of $152 (Shs540,842) charged on Rwanda-bound cargo trucks. Tanzania serves as gateway to the sea to its landlocked neighbours Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda, mainly through th Dar es Salaam port.

The ‘new’ $144 levy, according to diplomatic sources, is the flat rate across the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) regional bloc. Comesa is a 21-member free trade area stretching from Tunisia in North Africa to Eswatini in Southern Africa.

The reduction of the levy is one of middle grounds reached at yesterday’s bilateral exchanges between President Museveni and her Tanzanian counterpart, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who jetted in yesterday for a two day state visit ending today.

Tanzania, according to a joint communique issued by the presidency, also made U-turn on its 2019 ban on sugar imports from Uganda. The move will plug Tanzania’s 10,000 tonnes production gap.

The two principals further directed their relevant ministers to meet and thrash out details of removing outstanding non-tariff barriers to allow the smooth flow of trade between the two countries.
Uganda has in the recent past accused her southern neighbour of instituting several non-tariff barriers that upended trade between the two states. 

The two states enjoy warm and cordial historical bilateral relations dating back to the 1960s, and recent Bank of Uganda statistics showed that the latter was Uganda’s biggest source of imports in the region valued at $149m (Shs559b) overtaking Kenya which hauled in a paltry $71m (S253b).

The two leaders also witnessed signing of two MoUs on the field of Development of the 400KV Masaka-Mutukula-Kyaka-Nyakanazi-Mwanza electricity transmission line, and another on Defence and Security Cooperation.

Last week the two governments inked a separate MoU to provide security to the proposed 1,443km East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) that will transport Uganda’s crude oil from the oil fields in mid-western Uganda to the international market via Tanzania’s Indian Ocean Tanga Port.

President Hassan commended the long standing and excellent relations between the two countries.
“We’re satisfied with the political stability that our country enjoy and discussed peace and security so that the entire East Africa continues to be stable,” she said.

President Museveni, who was in Tanzania last November for a three day state visit, thanked his counterpart for reciprocating.  “You are most welcome to Uganda. We are very happy to received President Suluhu here and she has come with a very powerful delegation.”

Later in the evening President Hassan addressed a Private Sector Foundation of Uganda organised business forum at Serena hotel in Kampala.

Change 

The $10 translates into about $144 (Shs512,377) for the distance, down from the $500 (Shs1,779,087) that the Dodoma government had slapped on Ugandan cargo trucks mid-last year as fees collected for road repairs and maintenance.

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