By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Yesterday the government of Kenya lifted the ban it had imposed on maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania citing that “maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania have high levels of mycotoxins that are consistently beyond safety limits.”
However, according to our insider sources from Kenya State House, this was a plot initiated by Kenyan Mafias who connived with some government authorities and a diplomat in the president’s office to tarnish the maize of Uganda so they can secure the market for their own maize in the country! They used the mycotoxins issue as a scapegoat.
The source further disclosed that President Uhuru didn’t know all the deals behind Uganda’s maize ban. In fact, it came to him as a shock and when he learnt of it he immediately intervened and ordered the ban to be lifted.
Meanwhile, the above revelations reflect on Uganda’s Cabinet Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon.Amelia Anne Kyambadde’s argument, who revealed while on the floor of Parliament yesterday that Kenyan authorities have not given them any evidence on paperwork to confirm their allegations about the toxicity in the maize.
Kyambadde was backed by a couple of other legislators who actually called for reciprocation against Kenya saying that the Kenyan government has not only banned Ugandan maize but also other commodities like milk, eggs, and sugarcanes without clear reasons something that has since left Ugandan traders nursing wounds of losses.
Furthermore, our source in Kenya says that it has also been discovered that some Kenyan businessmen and mafias actually own maize farms in Uganda and have been using the same routes Ugandans use to tap into the Kenyan market. As a result, therefore, these Mafias realized that the ban would also affect them as they wouldn’t also be allowed to enter their own maize into Kenya from Uganda.
“After realizing that they had shut doors for their own maize from Uganda, these mafias started fighting themselves with those with farms in Uganda pushing Uhuru to lift the ban while another group in Kenya who wanted to sale theirs urged Uhuru to continue with the ban,” said our source adding, “however, Uhuru trashed them and ordered for the lifting of the ban leaving some influential mafias sour grasping.”
The ban on maize would see Uganda lose an average of $121m (Shs447b) in annual revenue, according to data from the Bank of Uganda.
Uganda exports at least 90 per cent of its maize to Kenya with a cumulative average of 330,620 tonnes.
For instance, between January 2020 and January 2021, Uganda’s maize exports stood at 351,420 tonnes with a monthly average of 50,203 tonnes.
Of the $121m export earnings, $99.5m came from Kenya while the rest was realised from South Sudan and eastern DR Congo, among others.
It’s worth noting still that the same Kenya in January banned the importation of poultry and beef products from Uganda among other East African countries.
In addition, earlier this year still, Kenya blocked Uganda’s milk and dairy products, particularly Lato Milk on claims that Ugandan companies are exporting counterfeit and substandard products. The country seized about 262,632 litres of Ugandan milk valued at about Shs 573m and 54,310kg of powdered milk at about Shs 743m, something that has since left Ugandan farmers hit-hard financially.