Depot: Kenya wears brave face despite protest

Thursday, June 18th, 2020 00:00 |
A section of Standard Gauge Railway under construction. Some affected land owners are yet to be compensated. PD/FILE

CARGO: Kenya is putting on a brave face ahead of starting the transfer of inland transit goods from Mombasa to the Naivasha Inland Container Depot (ICD) in the face of protest from Uganda that the facility lacks basic amenities.

 Yesterday, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), through its corporate office indicated that business is steadily picking up at the ICD, with government agencies such as Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Statistics and Kenya Railways  on the ground to ensure smooth cargo off-take.

 In addition to the government agencies, KPA said regional customs authorities from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan had set shop at the facility, ready to facilitate trade linkages by collecting revenue for cargo destined to the various transit countries.

 However, this is a position Uganda disagrees with, citing lack of capacity for the ICD to trans-ship imports to Uganda, let alone Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and South Sudan.

Denis Ombok, Kenya Transporters Association CEO said they had invested billions of shillings in fleets and loading yards, were paying taxes in advance and needed to recoup their investment which would not be possible through the current arrangement.

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