NAMISINDWA: Authorities Intensify Crackdown on Petty Smugglers

By Weswa Ronnie




Security leaders in Namisindwa district have passed tough penalties on people who will be found smuggling goods from the Kenya side to Uganda.


The resolutions were passed on Thursday during a security meeting which was held at Uganda Lwakhakha border located at Lwakhakha Town Council in Namisindwa district.


While speaking during the meeting, Imran Muluga, the Resident District Commissioner of Namisindwa who chaired the meeting said that people are crossing with goods from the Kenyan side into Uganda using people with disabilities.


‘’ Sometimes security at the border ignores those people with disabilities while crossing with Kenyan goods like soap, wheat flour, soda among others without taxing them yet every day, we miss like ten million shillings as tax on goods which enter into the country through the Lwakhakha border,’’ Hajji Muluga said.


Hajji Muluga added that police is going to be patrolling all porous borders especially at Bumbo Sub County, Bukokho and Lwakhakha Town Council to ensure that nobody enters into the country with untaxed Kenyan commodities.


‘’Any body found crossing with Kenyan goods will be arrested, goods impounded and suspects taken to court for making the country lose taxes which can develop the country,’’ Hajji Muluga said.


The RDC also said that no disabled person will be allowed to cross the border with more than one commodity in his or her wheelchair.


Magidu Wepukhuli, the OC station of Namisindwa central police station who represented the DPC in the meeting said that the crackdown is going to kick off next week on Monday.


He urged the community members to abide by the new rules such that they cannot be arrested or have their goods impounded.


Jackson Wakwaika, the LC5 chairperson of Namisindwa said that people cross to Kenya to buy goods because they are cheaper compared to those of Uganda.


‘’ I urge security to first sensitize the public about the advantages of paying taxes or buying Ugandan goods rather than banning them,’’ Mr. Wakwaika said.


Sam Wandukwa, one of the businessmen operating at Lwakhakha town council said that since Uganda is in the East African community, they should leave people to buy goods anywhere they want.


John Musila, area Member of Parliament representing Bubulo East constituency in Namisindwa district says that smuggling has employed lots of youths at the border.


‘’ Security leaders should not use harsh measures on those caught smuggling because those youths will be idle and become security threats,’’ Honorable Musila said.


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