Parliament has summoned the Minister in charge of East African Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga to update the country and clarify issues surrounding the full reopening of the Uganda-Rwanda border post at Katuna.
The move follows demands raised by MPs for the Government to provide clarity on the terms of reopening the border. The MPs were concerned that individual access to either countries was still restricted.
The Chief Opposition Whip, John Baptist Nambeshe, who raised the matter, said that the lack of clear communication by the Government continues to cause more confusion.
“We do not know whether it is partially open, restricted to cargo, or whether there are categories of essential and non-essential travelers,” said Nambeshe.
Busia Municipality MP, Geoffrey Macho, raised concern over the lack of documentation in some of the agreements entered into between countries. He said that it was unfortunate that there was no documentation following the agreements to reopen the Katuna border post between Uganda and Rwanda.
“I request that East African leaders and the people they send to put everything in writing; we don’t want to stay in a guessing state,” said Macho.
Rwanda on Monday, January 31, 2022, reopened its land border with Uganda after a three-year closure, signaling a thaw in relations between the two East African neighbors.
The border had been closed in February 2019 as political tensions between Kigali and Kampala spiraled, leading to the near-collapse of two-way trade.
However, despite the reopening of the border, only cargo trucks were allowed on either side while travelers were held back by immigration officials.
Responding to the concerns raised by members, the Minister of State for Industry, David Bahati, said that President Yoweri Museveni, in his address to the Cabinet on January 31, 2022, said that the side of Rwanda was only open for cargo because they were still observing COVID-19 procedures on all their borders.
The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among who chaired the Plenary Session directed that Minister in charge of East African Affairs updates the country on the ongoing events and development in Katuna border post between Uganda and Rwanda.