SPOTLIGHT: Traders Protest Extortion by Agricultural Inspector at Busia Border Point

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Doreen Rukuba, an Agricultural Inspector with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries at the Busia Border Point, has been accused of levying illegal charges.

A source within Busia Border Point who knows how she operates her illegal transactions said Rukuba, whose office is in charge of inspection and clearing all the agricultural products, both export and import, usually charges unauthorized fees between Shillings 30,000 and 40,000 Ugxs per truck, way above the standard charge of five thousand shillings per truck.

The source adds that traders, including clearing agents who operate from Busia Border, are irritated and concerned about illegal charges, which they claim are crippling their businesses.

According to the traders, most of their goods often go bad due to delayed clearance since, at times, it takes them a long time to mobilize money to pay for the exorbitant illegal charges.

“A truck entering Kenya is cleared at 30,000 to 40,000 Ugandan shillings, and you are required to pay to a money mobile agent belonging to Rukuba, not to the government bank account,” revealed the traders.

In March 2022 and March 2023, the traders claimed nobody had responded to their demands for immediate action by the authority; they now want the Ministers of Agriculture, Frank Tumwebaze, and Trade and Investment, Evelyn Anite, to come to their rescue.

They want Rukuba removed and replaced by another officer who can serve them in accordance with the law.

“We wrote our petitions about the said officer, who has been at the border for the last 13 years with the same injustices and corruption, but no action has been taken against her, and we continue to suffer,” said the traders.

Juma Yahaya, secretary of the Clearing Agents Association, said Rukuba told them that the money she collects through mobile money goes to the Commissioner.

Yahaya said the ministry of agriculture and trade needs to urgently intervene in the matter.

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