Kenya’s night travel ban is hurting Uganda traders

The Ugandan traders have now started consultations with the Uganda's Ministry of Trade to assess if the ban

Ugandan tradershave shared their frustrations with the travel ban on long-distance public service vehicles saying its continued stay risks increasing the cost of doing business in the region by spiking prices of commodities.

According to the chairman Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita), Mr Everest Kayondo, the ban has cost implications on the side of traders due to the increased number of transaction days.

“The ban is affecting our traders badly because most of them travel in the night as they go on with normal business during the day. This means the journey time which has been three days will now go up to six days or more,” said Mr Kayondo.

Mr Kayondo added time hikes the cost of doing business as people incur extra expenses in terms of food and accommodation thereby eating into their profits.

Mr David Ondyege, a trader who was stuck at the Busia border for days, decried the ban saying it hindered free flow of goods and services.

“The ban is really frustrating us. The border is very congested because we are lining up for longer hours for registration since busses are arriving at the same time,” he told the Daily Monitor .

The Ugandan traders have now started consultations with the Uganda's Ministry of Trade to assess if the ban is a non-tariff barrier and know the way forward.

“As Kacita we have been fighting the introduction of non-tariff barriers and with this ban, discussions are ongoing with the Trade ministry,” said Mr Kayondo.

On December 31, the Kenyan government banned long-distance public service vehicles from travelling at night in a bid to reduce accidents that had claimed 200 lives in December alone.

In a statement by Kenya’s director-general of the National Transport and Safety Authority Mr Francis Meja, the ban was intended to prohibit buses ferrying passengers to long distances from operating beyond 7pm.

However, transport stakeholders have condemned the ban saying it was poorly though out and a knee jerk reaction at best.

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