Business

Minister: Cocaine Smuggled Through Malaba Border

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sildenafil http://ceris.ca/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>Hon. David Wakikona noted on Thursday that this scheme will have to be reinforced relentlessly if the currently soaring trend of importation of substandard and illicit goods is to be contained.

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Under this scheme, traders will be required to import merchandise from approved manufacturers. All imports are to be inspected and verified to ascertain their conformity with local standards and the general safety of their consumers.

Most of its provisions, however, have since come under attack from the importers who later agreed to suspend importation of goods for the next two months in protest of the schemes unfairness.

However, according to Minister Wakikona, the policy is only intended to protect the importers themselves but also safeguard lives of Ugandan consumers.

“People out there are complaining of substandard imported goods that cause them diseases and shorten their lifespan, and all traders do is suspending importations in protest of such a mitigation intervention?” wondered Wakikona.

“We have insisted that PIVOC must begin and work. Uganda has lately become a major base for all sorts of fake commodities and illicit drugs like cocaine.”

“URA people have confided to me that containers are recorded at the border as carrying different merchandise yet boxes of cocaine are concealed within. This cannot be allowed to continue.”

He added that the rate at which goods are being smuggled into the country is another cause of concern.

“People in Bugishu my constituency are too smart to be tracked down by law enforcers. They smuggle goods into and out of the country even at 3am in the night while URA people are deep in their sleep.”

From Malaba through the whole of Mt. Elgon is a smuggling route. This is something we have to find a solution to, “said Wakikona.

Hon Wakikona was speaking at the National Forum on Agriculture and Food Security which was organized by the Economic Policy Research Centre at Hotel Africana.

He also highlighted a dire need for Uganda to enhance its export potential in a bid to cover for the increasing import demand.

“Our import bill is almost double our export revenue, something that is truly unsustainable,” he said.

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