Uganda & Rwanda lock horns over 32 tonnes of cement

Authorities at the Rwandan border have blocked a consignment of goods being exported to Rwanda, UGANDANZ has learnt. The goods three truckload of cement from Tororo Cement Industries (TCI) were intercepted at the border post of Katuna at 10:00pm, on Friday night.

UGANDANZ has learnt that 32 tonnes of cement (640 bags) were bounced as they were being transported by UBUMWE Enterprises Limited, an agent of TCI.

TCI export manager B. Banerjee, confirmed the incident, adding:

“They demanded that we produce the East African Compliance Certificate. For 20 years, we have been exporting Tororo Cement to Rwanda, but last night, they introduced a new system, which shocked us.”

“Our importer (UBUMWE Enterprises LTD) called us about the new procedure. We immediately contacted the East African Community and Uganda Revenue Authority, but they are not aware of that certificate.”

It is now 48 hours since our products were stopped and we are calling everyone and everywhere, to find out about the certificate. TCI chief marketing manager Alok Kala told UGANDANZ that they are shocked by the new procedure.

“We think Rwanda is trying to protect their industries, but they do not have the capacity to supply the market,” he said. “We are among the top 10 companies paying taxes and, therefore, we could not have missed this over the years,” Kala said.

When contacted, the Uganda Revenue Authority chief customs commissioner, Dickson Kateshumbwa, said he was unware of the incident.

“Let me call Katuna border for facts,” he said. Rwanda high commission officer, Consolata Kaleba, declined to comment. Nelson Nshangabasheija, the mayor of Katuna Town Council, said business is not going on well at the border, with the blockade.