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AFRICA: Does Uganda also depend on Rwanda for goods?

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CHANGE OF GUARDS – When Rwanda closed its border with Uganda to heavy trucks three months ago, the Kampala regime attempted the usual blackmail. Kampala claimed that Rwanda stood to lose because its economic survival depended on the former. Emphasis was on foodstuffs where it was alleged that without food from Uganda, Rwandans will starve.

It is now over three months since and we have not heard of a food crisis in Rwanda. Instead it is getting clearer that Ugandans also thrive of foodstuffs and manufactured goods from Rwanda. It is these items that are at the centre of a brewing smuggling rackets to and from Rwanda. Last month a 41-year-old Rwandan businessman, Innocent Ndahimana was allegedly shot and injured by the Rwandan security officials as he tried to smuggle about 500kgs of beans into Uganda.
Shortly before, Rwandan smugglers ferrying sacks of Sugar from Rwanda into Uganda were identified.

According to the most recent investigations by the Daily Monitor, smuggling of goods from Rwanda into Uganda is on the rise. The paper quotes a number of sources and among them;
“Mr Enock Kazooba, the chairman of Ryakarikira Town Council in Kabale District, which borders with Rwanda, said during night hours, Rwandan nationals smuggle beans, peas and some manufactured goods to Uganda through ungazetted border points, where waiting Ugandan traders pay them cash.”
Other traders interviewed by the same paper confirmed a booming smuggling racket along the common border;
“We buy beans that Rwandans smuggle to Uganda at Shs2,000 per kilo and sell at Shs2,400 per kilo.”
On March 29, the Kampala regime’s own New Vision ran an exclusive that detailed the smuggling racket involving Sugar from Rwanda among other items.

Kabaale as a region and its town in particular flourished in the 1970s out of smuggling to and from Rwanda. Its the regulated trade that retarded its growth since Museveni came to power 33 years ago. The central government has been taking all the revenue from custom dues to be swindled at the national level. Therefore, the resumption of smuggling will once again contribute to the growth of Kabaale.

Uganda earns multiple times more in exports to Rwanda, which is its third largest East African trading partner after Kenya and South Sudan, than the forex earning Kigali picks from Kampala.
In normal times, 300 to 400 vehicles ply to Rwanda via Gatuna border, carrying household items, food, minerals, beverages, construction materials, and other manufactured goods.
Uganda last year raked in $197m from exports to Rwanda, lower than the $254m peak earning three years, but still ten-fold higher than $20m worth of Rwandan exports to Uganda. There is nothing that Rwanda gets from Uganda that it cannot get from Tanzania through the Rusumo border crossing on River Kagera. Uganda has more to lose in terms of revenue than Rwanda. We are yet to see if the affected traders will be compensated in the same way those who had been exporting to South Sudan.

Moreover, Rwanda is only stopping its own people not to smuggle goods to Uganda but not goods being smuggled to Rwanda. Therefore, who loses? Simple Logic!!!


—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: May 25, 2019 at 11:08AM

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