A Kenyan cigarette company claims to be losing millions of shillings in revenue after Uganda officials held its trucks ferrying cigarettes to South Sudan.
Mastermind Tobacco Kenya, in a statement, says it has lost over Sh84 million ($1 million) in revenue after Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials held five of its trucks transporting cigarettes to South Sudan.
Held since July
The firm, whose lorries have been held in Uganda since July 1, this year, said the Ugandan officials offered no valid reason for the action.
“The trucks loaded with over 6,000 cartons of cigarettes were destined for Juba.
“Two months after, agents, wholesalers, retailers and consumers are still waiting for the products,” the company said in a statement.
The company claims that Kenyan firms are restricted to one exit point only at Bibia-Nimule border, which is 450 kilometres from the Kaya-Oroba exit, which is easily accessible from Kenya.
Meanwhile, Ms Sarah Birungi Banage, an assistant commissioner, Public & Corporate Affairs, said:
“There is a court order stopping URA from releasing the goods in transit. So it’s not true that they are in the dark.”
Previously, Kenyan traders accessed Juba through the Lokichogio border post, but the government closed this exit indefinitely due to insecurity.