President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya to lift the ban on the importation of maize from Uganda and Tanzania.
This directive is aimed at removing trade barriers in the East African Community.
Speaking at a business forum meeting that brought together business leaders from Kenya and Tanzania, gave an ultimatum of two weeks to concerned state agencies to clear the jam of trucks at Namanga and Holili border crossings to allow free flow of trade.
“On the maize that has been laying on the border points, I am giving you the CS (Peter Munya) two weeks to solve the issue. There is no need to hurt our people,” he said.
He also tasked the ministers of health from both countries to move with speed and streamline Covid-19 containment protocols required for traders to cross the borders unhindered.
“I want to announce two directives and I want them done this week and next week. All concerned ministers please move with speed and unlock the jam in Holili, Taveta and Namanga border points. On Covid-19 certificates, please let the health ministers sit and agree on modalities. If the certificate is issued in Tanzania let those people be allowed to come to Kenya and vice versa,” he said.
“Mawaziri wanaohusika watatue jam ambayo iko kule Taveta-Holili na Namanga, magari yaweze kutembea. Kama ni certificate za COVID, mawaziri wa afya wajue vile wanaweza kufanya. Certificate ikiwa checked Tanzania basi hio certificate iwe sawa aingie Kenya.”
On March 5, 2021, the government through the Agriculture and Food Authority banned maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania citing high levels of aflatoxin.
In April, the law enforcement agencies nabbed 39 lorries ferrying maize from Uganda
25 lorries were being held at Busia police station while 14 at Adungosi, as the Ministry, through its Agriculture and Food Authority heightened surveillance along all border points.
In a statement, the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said that following the Government directive on stoppage of maize transfers from East Africa Community partner countries, unscrupulous businessmen had tried to sneak in maize through non- gazetted border points.
“ A stern warning has been issued against culprits contravening the government directive, and traders found culpable will be arrested and charged in the Kenyan Court of Law,’ he said.
He noted that the government has taken several measures to facilitate safe trade of maize and other related food commodities across the EAC.