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Locals want agreement honoured before Uhuru commissions new border post

By Ignatius Odanga | Published Wed, February 21st 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 20th 2018 at 23:22 GMT +3
Busia one stop border post that President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled to open on Saturday. [Photo by Ignatius Odanga/Standard]

Residents want a visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta planned for the weekend postponed.

Uhuru is scheduled to visit the region on Saturday to commission the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) in Busia and Malaba towns.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame are also expected at the event.

But some residents are opposing the opening of the new border post until an agreement they claim was signed between the defunct Busia Municipal Council and the national government is honoured.

The demands come in the wake of fears that the new facility will hamper revenue generation for the county. Clearing and forwarding agents have also expressed fear that OSBP will take away their jobs.

According to the residents, an earlier agreement stated that construction of the OSBP would be accompanied by a trailer and bus park from which the county would continue generating revenue.

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Local authority

Mayenje MCA David Luyemba, who was a building inspector in the defunct local authority, said the agreement to set up a trailer park opposite Korinda GK Prison and a bus park still stood.

“The defunct local authorities signed an agreement with the Government that any investor willing to put up a one-stop border post must build a trailer park and bus park from where the county could collect revenue,” said Mr Luyemba.

In a meeting held at a Busia hotel on Monday, a number of local politicians and members of the public agreed that the memorandum of understanding on the park had to be honoured before the opening of the border post.

The residents also want the busy road leading to Busia town repaired.

 “I am certain that once the President commissions it (border post), what is contained in the agreement will not be implemented and that is why we are asking the national government to tell us clearly what is going to be done” he added

Collecting money

County Chief of Staff Robert Papa complained that officers from the revenue collection department were being restricted from collecting money anywhere near the border.

“We want the county government to be allowed to collect revenue at customs and the President to give us an assurance that the two parks will be built and the county allowed to collect trailer fees in Busia and Malaba,” said Mr Papa.

Matayos Deputy County Commissioner Fredrick Ayieko promised to forward the grievances to the Government for action as preparations for Uhuru's tour continued yesterday.


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