Government moves to clear Malaba border blockage Nairobi, Tuesday May 26, 2020

The East Africa Community (EAC) and Regional Cooperation, Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed says the government is addressing the challenges facing Malaba border to clear the backlog that is affecting the transport corridor.

Addressing the media at the daily COVID-19 media briefing today the CS said that the blockage of road by the truck drivers was artificial and a serious issue which, the government is looking into.

“The issues have developed largely and created by our own truck drivers who have caused a 50-kilometer-long delay and now it is becoming a security threat,” he said.

He noted that trade within the EAC region remains a critical aspect of the economy, which is already experiencing the bad effects of coronavirus and cannot withstand the delays that is making the transport corridor to suffer.

“During pre-corona days it would take three days for a driver to go from the port of Mombasa to Kampala and back but with coronavirus now, that time has doubled and the economic consequence of this has been serious,” he said.

He noted that the government has taken a decision today to exercise all that is within its means to make sure that the corridor which was blocked by trucks is cleared and by today afternoon the four trucks that had blocked the entry into the Uganda side of the border are cleared and movement of trucks is reinstated,” he said.

He explained that the government expects the exercise of clearance to take four to five days and the government has asked all stakeholders including immigration department, port health, revenue authority and security to work for 24 hours to make sure the clearance is done.

On the issue of Kenyan drivers arguing that they are being charged during testing on the Uganda side, CS Adan urged them to heed to the government call of being tested 48 hours prior and advised them to undertake the test in Kenya which is free.

He also called on all truck drivers to exercise patience especially at this trying time of COVID-19, blocking the entry points of Uganda will not be accepted he sadded and noted that all arms of the EAC governments are collaborating  on the issue.

The CS for Transport James Macharia added that the transport corridor is important to the prevention of COVID-19 especially at the border points. “We agreed that the tests by truck drivers will be done by accredited health facilities using the WHO standards,” he noted..