If there is anything that is now eating up into Rwandan traders’ profit margins is the increasing corruption on the Uganda’s Kagitumba border side. On top of taxes, traders also have to pay a bride on their goods.
Traders are asked to pay some amount of fee on their goods which varies (according to the wish of border staff) so that they can be cleared easily, but are not a receipt, implying it is not an official fee.
“You reach there and they block the road with a rope barricade and tell you to pay Ughs 100,000 when you ask why, they don’t reply until you get tired and pay to save your goods,” one of the victim traders who preferred anonymity said.
Traders were meeting members of the East Africa Legislative assembly EALA at the Rwanda Uganda Border of Kagitumba On Tuesday.
In order to strengthen the East Africa integration members states agreed on free movement of goods and persons, abolition of Non-Tariff barriers among others with an intention of making the region one market.
Nevertheless, some member states have been too slow to implement the one market with most the barriers still existing which threatens the cross border trade.
“ For us we no longer have market, vehicles coming from Rwanda are not stopped while those entering Rwanda are stopped from Ugandan side and people exchange money from the other side,” said a money changer at the Rwandan side.
Legislators who were shocked by the revelations of traders noted that there are no vehicles supposed to be stopped at the border where it is originating from while also calling for abolition of bribes on Ugandan side.
“These are contrary to the agreed protocols that govern the regional integration, we are going to advocate for the end of such illicit activities,” said Dr James Ndahiro, EALA member from Rwanda
The legislators also had discussions with border staff in both count countries to ascertain the challenges in order to look at their solutions.