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Lato milk row; Museveni opposes vengeance against Kenya

President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  President Yoweri Museveni has opposed plans by some of his officials to reiterate against Kenya for confiscating Lato Milk, a Ugandan brand, produced by Mbarara-based Pearl Dairies Limited.  

His position comes at the height of a trade war between the two countries, following the confiscation of trucks of Lato Milk by the Kenya Bureau of Standards and the Kenya Revenue Authority. The authorities said that the products were substandard. Kenya had earlier said that it was going to impose a 16 per cent Value Added Tax on the product.  

According to Uganda Revenue Authority, at least 19 truck-loads worth more than a billion Shillings have either been returned to Uganda or seized from within Kenya, even after being cleared by the government bodies for importation into Kenya.  

Through the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Trade and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde wrote to the Kenyan government demanding that the milk be released or else Uganda would reiterate against especially that Kenya exports more products to Uganda.   

But speaking to members of his party, the ruling National Resistance Movement at State House Entebbe last evening, Museveni said that countries that are looking towards economic and political unification can’t be seen imposing trade restrictions.     

“I saw people say reiterate; I will not accept because President Kenyatta is a very friendly person, very clear-headed on business because he is a businessman himself. He’s also very clear-headed on African issues,” Museveni said.  

Museveni added that there is need to explain to East Africans that protectionism is not the right way to grow their countries’ economies but rather the need to work to help those countries to produce cheaply by providing labour and other factors of production.  

He said in the 1960s before the East African Community disintegrated, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania which then constituted the block, each produced only those commodities it had a comparative advantage over. He hence called for the fast-tracking of the East African federation.   

“This closing of borders is because the borders are there. [Referring to the Rwanda border that was closed almost a year ago]. If people are united which borders are you going to close? We need to have an economic union for the whole of Africa and for the political union it should be those countries near each other like EAC. These borders are the ones allowing that confusion to go on,” Museveni said.

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3 comments

  1. A president stuck in history…1960s this 1986 that…a maniacal obsession with the past.

    A president unaware of the limitations of his expertise and always interfering or wanting to interfere in every issue the country may face.

    The President seems to forget that government recruited and pays good money to experts to precisely solve the very issues the president makes uninformed decisions on.
    Seeming to base his decisions on personal whims like “Kenyatta is a good person, Kenyatta is a businessman,I like him “etc -like Kenyan police would confiscate goods of Pearl Dairy(lato milk) a known rival of Kenyatta-owned Brookside while Kenyatta was ignorant of this- similar to the long list of similarly questionable decisions based on the president’s belief he is a good judge of character despite the glaring failures of this approach to the management of state affairs.

    The president maybe a great politician but the reality is he is a poor administrator.
    But unfortunately he seems unaware of this and routinely second-guesses other constitutionally mandated public administrators (decision-makers) who as a result must await his proclamations on any matter no matter how long it may take or suffer the humiliation of the unilateral reversal of their initiatives examples include Jennifer Musisi and bodabodas, UNRA’s Kagina and Dott Service or even the intergovernmental committee set up to address precisely address Kenya aggressive anti-uganda behaviour that by this single proclamation has disarmed and severally weakened as all bark and no bite.

    This state of affairs is worsened by growing personality cult of the president with some seemingly sober and supposedly educated public officials calling the president god or god sent/ordained, most intelligent person in the world, most generous, most forgiving, and all manner of superlatives in praise of the son of Kaguta. And maybe this flattery is really now convincing son of Kaguta and general of NRM that he is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent etc

    • I thought you’d outline substantial reasons why you think his advice is wrong and then go on to provide a better solution but you you didn’t. Just a forest of good literature but a a desert of points.
      You actually just aired your anger towards the regime.
      I really think M7 should retire but you guys haven’t offered any better alternative because you offer no reasonable solutions to Uganda’s problems.

  2. I thought you’d outline substantial reasons why you think his advice is wrong and then go on to provide a better solution but you you didn’t. Just a forest of good literature but a a desert of points.
    You actually just aired your anger towards the regime.
    I really think M7 should retire but you guys haven’t offered any better alternative because you offer no reasonable solutions to Uganda’s problems.

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