STALEMATE

Uganda insists on optional use of Naivasha ICD

Kenya commenced haulage of all transit cargo to Naivasha

In Summary
  • The Ugandan business community and government says the Kenyan government should not force port users on the new facility.
Transport CS James Macharia joins other government officials in touring the Sh6.9 billion Inland Container Depot in Mai Mahiu, Naivasha, on June 2, 2020
CURBING VIRUS SPREAD: Transport CS James Macharia joins other government officials in touring the Sh6.9 billion Inland Container Depot in Mai Mahiu, Naivasha, on June 2, 2020
Image: GEORGE MURAGE

Uganda has insisted cargo by SGR to Naivasha ICD and use of the dry port should be optional.

The Ugandan business community and government says the Kenyan government should not force port users on the new facility.

The neighbouring country which accounts for more than 82 per cent of transit cargo to the hinterland wants to continue picking it's imports from Mombasa.

 

“We have learnt that you intend to rail all containers in transit to Uganda through Naivasha ICD and we write to inform you about our dismay to such an act if this is true,”managing director Mukwano Industries Uganda, Alykhan Khamali, said in a letter addressed to the Kenya Ports Authority.

There has been a back and forth between the two governments since Kenya declared a mandatory clearance and collection of all transit cargo to the hinterland through the Naivasha ICD.

Kenya has turned down the neighbouring country’s request for optional use of the Standard Gauge Railway to haul goods destined for Kampala to the Suswa based dry port.

Ugandan Transport minister Edward Katumba had asked his Kenyan counterpart James Macharia to reconsider the May 22 directive.

According to Khamali, his industry has been using the Port for over 35 years and have never experienced such an act.

“You and your staff are aware of the contractual carriage obligations that exist between the Shiper, consigner and shipping lines and if our point of discharge is Mombasa and on carriage is on consignees’ risk and account, we wonder how you are railing our containers to Naivasha without our consent,” the letter read.

“We request you to observe the contractual obligations and failure to do so shall leave us with no option but to seek legal recourse.”

 

The Managing Director also stated that at no time did the company’s containers overstay at the Port and urged KPA to address the matter urgently to ensure the firm’s supply of raw materials is not disrupted.

“When the rail is operational up to Kampala, and not only stopping at Naivasha we shall review our own carriage means and if competitive we shall embrace the same,” Khamali concluded.