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Traders call for price control at Kenya-Uganda border

03 July 2012, 14:44 Joy Monday

Traders at Malaba town have asked the governments to harmonize the prices of essential goods among the member States in order to create favorable business competition.

“We want the governments to harmonize the prices of essentials across the countries to give the traders an equal opportunity to benefit,” urged Fred Papa, the Vice Chairman of Busia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The official said that the price of commodities in Uganda was favourable to consumers arguing that it was cheaper to buy goods from Uganda than Kenyan side.

He singled out the favorable and low cars prices in Uganda because lowered taxes. “People move across the border in order to purchase cars and they register them there because the taxes on cars are much lower. We want harmonized prices in Kenya to attract equal competition,” he said.

The traders asked the Kenya government to reduce the taxes imposed on goods as the high prices was hurting their businesses and they were losing customers to their counterparts in the neighboring country.
 “The prices in Kenya are very high and people are now avoiding to shop in Kenya and cross over to Uganda because it is more affordable,” Papa lamented.

The traders protested that the current taxation system in Kenya had raised the price of essentials and that this had forced people to flock to Uganda.

East African Community Minister Mr. Musa Sirma has cited slow pace of border points operations along Kenya-Uganda as the biggest hindrance to the process of integration and called for multi-sectoral approach to speed up the clearance of goods at once at the entry points.
Sirma was speaking during the commemoration of the second anniversary of the East African Community Common Market Protocol at Malaba town.

The Minister observed that slow pace of operations at the border points is affecting the core agenda of the East Africa protocol and asked the relevant institutions to steer up the clearance exercise to ensure smooth transit of goods.
“The community’s intention is to ensure the citizens benefit from the integration and we are challenging concern institutions at the border points to streamline the operations,” he said.

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