A section of Marsabit County Assembly ward reps has opposed the government’s move to close undesignated border point routes along the Moyale-Ethiopia border.
The MCAs said the move has made business people to incur heavy losses. Two weeks ago, the government announced that it would close all routes in the Sessi and Biashara areas in Moyale.
They said small businesspeople who engage in inter-border trade have lost their means of livelihood.
While addressing a press conference in Marsabit Town on Saturday, the MCAs leaders led by Marsabit County Assembly Deputy Speaker Sora Huka and Heillu-Manyatta MCA John Dawe Killo, they vowed to petition State to revoke the decree.
“We condemn the decree issued by the government to close feeder roads in Sessi and Biashara Street areas which have for a long time eased access into Ethiopia. The directive has resulted into massive loss of millions of shillings and means of livelihood of the small-scale traders,” said Mr Dawe.
They added that those who live in the areas are intimidated by the presence of security forces.
Moyale Township MCA Chana Kiya and his nominated counterpart Hussein Waqo, said that the closure of the border was unconstitutional and oppressive.
They, however did not oppose the directive to use Moyale-Addis Ababa Highway only.
Marsabit County Police Commander Steve Oloo clarified that only illegal routes along the Moyale-Ethiopia border had been closed to curb rampant entry of contraband goods into the country.
Mr Oloo said the directive was also meant to check proliferation of drugs and illegal firearms as well the influx of foreigners which have threatened security within the county.
“I appeal to local leaders to use the right channels in addressing their grievances. It is only illegal routes that have been closed to ensure traders neither evade taxes nor bring contraband goods into the country,” Mr Oloo said.
He added that the closed routes have for a long time been used by businesspeople to evade paying taxes.