Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Ugandan trucks targeted by Kenyan poll rioters!
THE political turmoil in Kenya has acquired a new turn in relation to regional trade. Reports indicate that only Tanzanian trucks are accorded safe passage in Kenya while those from Uganda are reportedly set on fire or subjected to numerous snags.
Some businessmen whose cargo trucks were in Kenya both before and after the general elections, said at the Tanzanian port of Mwanza over the weekend, that their vehicles managed to return to the country unhindered, while those heading for Uganda underwent turbulent and dangerous incidents.
One of the traders, who identified himself as James Owino, said his company had sent three cargo trucks to Kenya which managed to drive back safely to Tanzania complete with their cargo.
"On the way home, our drivers constantly came across supporters of Raila Odinga`s ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) who were periodically erecting road blocks to stop vehicles for inspection in order to determine their destinations," he said, adding that on stopping the vehicles, the alleged political stalwarts had ample time to inspect them and take any steps they deemed correct.
He said the Kenyans had made it clear that they had no problems with vehicles destined for Tanzania "once they had a glimpse of our registration numbers," but they had serious reservations with those heading for Uganda.
"It was a bit puzzling to learn that whenever they saw vehicles with Tanzanian registration numbers, they waved them on without any hitches, but when vehicles with Ugandan registration numbers drove in, the gloomy scenes went into motion, including setting them on fire," he said, adding that the only hitches which Tanzanian drivers had to face occurred when it came to paying taxes as most offices in Kenya were closed.
Ismail Khalfan, one of the drivers who was recently in Kenya, said the friendly stance towards Tanzanian drivers might have stemmed from Tanzania`s neutrality on Kenya`s political crises which were ignited by disputed election results proclaiming President Mwai Kibaki as the winner.
On the contrary, President Yoweri Museveni has already congratulated President Mwai Kibaki on his contested victory.
More than 650 people have been killed since Mr Kibaki was sworn into office after a disputed December 27 election the opposition says was rigged and observers said was seriously flawed.
The Kenyan opposition has called for more demonstrations on Thursday despite the fact that police, under orders to crush rallies, have shot dead scores of their supporters.
http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish … ters.shtml