The East African Community member states depending on the Northern Corridor transit route for imports and exports have been thrown into more uncertainty after Uganda failed to the address striking drivers demands.
A crisis meeting called by Uganda’s Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has tasked the ministers of Health and East African Community (EAC) Affairs to study the drivers’ concerns and make recommendations to the ministerial committee trying to end the strike.
This means Uganda will continue carrying out fresh tests on truck drivers entering the country even as the businesses community and transporters are opposed to the exercise.
Uganda, however, says it will continue recognising the PCR test results from EAC member states.
“The ministers agreed that there should be mutual recognition of PCR results from East African Community (EAC) sister states,” Prime Ministers’ Office Spokesperson, Julius Musinguzi, told The EastAfrican in Kampala.
The chairperson of Uganda Freight Forwarders Association, Hussein Kiddede, urged Kampala authorities to find a balance between containing health pressures and economic needs.
“I think we should focus on a common EAC approach as opposed to each country going it alone,” he said.
The member states agreed that drivers who have been tested for Covid-19 in any member state be given a certificate whose validity is 14 days, and that those with valid certificates are free to move within the EAC region.
The transport and logistics industry players say the introduction of the $30 charge at Uganda’s land borders irrespective of whether the truckers have valid certificates or not, goes against the EAC protocols.