Police Operation Slows Cross-Border Trade in Moroto

3538 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
The operation has slowed down the movement of goods across the two areas leading to increased costs of transacting business.

Trade across the Uganda- Kenya border in Moroto and Turkana districts respectively has slowed down in the past two weeks following the police crackdown on unlicensed cyclists.
The operation has slowed down the movement of goods across the two areas leading to increased costs of transacting business.
Paul Imana, a businessman from Lodwar in Kenya, tells Uganda Radio Network that he is finding it difficult to transport merchandise from Moroto town. He explains that since the police launched an onslaught of unregistered bikes his profits have reduced considerably.
He says in a day he would make at least Kshs. 22,000 but today he earns Kshs. 8,000. He adds that his finding it difficult to transport goods to the border for Kenyan cyclists to pick them up. He goes on to say that Ugandan cyclists now demand Ushs. 400,000 to carry merchandise up to Lodwar town from Moroto, yet the charges were shs 150,000. He appeals to Uganda government to provide ample time to allow cyclists register the motorbikes.
John Lopeikong, a cyclist from Turkana, says he will not come to Uganda to lose his bike. He accuses Uganda police for being corrupt. He adds the Kenyan police have always impounded Ugandan bikes but they do release them without a penny under the East African spirit. He adds that even the Ugandan police at Nakiloro post inside Uganda charge Kshs. 500 to cross to Moroto town.  He says the Ugandan authorities have a lot to do to harmonize business between Uganda and Kenya more especially in the arid areas.
George Obia, the District Police Commander, says the Kenyans have to observe traffic laws. He explains that riding in Kenya or Uganda has no difference. He adds that operators have only to certify traffic authorities that they are riding genuine bikes. He maintains that the police will continue with the operations to weed out unregistered bikes.
Meanwhile, about 90 boda cyclists have for the first time paid at least 5 million shillings under the express penalty scheme to secure their motorbikes impounded a fortnight ago. Police say they will only rest after the cyclists have acquired skills to ride and permits.


About the author

Olandason Wanyama
Olandason Wanyama is the Karamoja region bureau chief. Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Abim, Kotido and Kaabong districts fall under his docket. Wanyama has been a URN staff member since 2012.

The former teacher boasts of 20 years journalism experience. Wanyama started out as a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor newspaper in 1991 in Entebbe. Wanyama also wrote for the army publication Tarehe Sita, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) magazine and The New Vision. While not on the beat, Wanyama taught child soldiers at Uganda Airforce School-Katabi.

Wanyama is very interested in conflict reporting, climate change, education, health and business reporting. He is also an avid photographic chronicler of vanishing tribal life in the East African region.