A section of Ugandan traders is petitioning parliament to intervene in their plight over the Kenyan government’s failure to compensate them for lost merchandise in the 2007 post-election violence.
The traders got caught up in the violence that rocked the country after the 2007 elections and are claiming $47m worth of lost goods and business that the Kenyan Government promised to compensate them for
Through Igara, East MP, Michael Mwanda, the traders claim they are running the risk of losing their assets that had been mortgaged in their attempts to raise capital as banks seek foreclosure.
The violence in 2007 saw a number of Ugandan traders incur huge losses as irate mobs torched their trucks laden with goods destined for Uganda while other tried to uproot rail slippers of the train link between Mombasa and Uganda.
“The Kenyan government had promised to pay; a report indicating genuine claimants written and submitted. But nothing has been done which has forced banks to move in and start attaching their assets” Mawanda, a lawmaker with strong connections in the business community said. Mawanda later told the press that Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, met a section of the affected Ugandan traders in 2010 over the issue. The meeting was attended by the Kenyan minister of trade, and the Attorney Generals of Uganda and Kenya.
Although the House did not debate the issue, Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga asked the trade minister, Amelia Kyambade, to explore ways of expeditiously pushing for the payment to forestall the threat of traders losing their property through foreclosure.
The Kenyan maritime port of Mombasa remains Uganda’s main link to the coast, with much of Uganda’s exports and imports handled by the said harbour