This followed the escalation of prices over the last two weeks in Kampala, as a result of measures that the government had put in place for truck drivers entering Uganda, mostly coming from the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa.
Ugandan truck drivers and cyclists in Mutukula, Kakuuto and
Kyotera are now buying petrol from across the border in Tanzania, where
it is moderately cheaper compared to the cost at fuel stations in
This followed the escalation of prices over the last two
weeks in Kampala, as a result of measures that the government had put in
place for truck drivers entering Uganda, mostly coming from the Indian
port of Mombasa. They were required to undergo mandatory COVID-19
testing, even for those in possession of a negative PCR certificate
issued in Kenya.
But the requirement sparked a dispute at the
border causing a traffic gridlock since there was no movement at the
border where truckers were demanded exemption from the tests, especially
for those with a negative test result from Kenya. They argued that the
cost of USD 30 or 100,000 Shillings that was needed for the test was
As the dispute raged, fuel prices more than doubled
in some areas, while stations in Kampala were selling petrol at an
average of 5,500 Shillings per litre, which was at 3700 Shillings for
the better part of last year. Amidst the crisis in Uganda, stations in
Tanzania maintained prices at an equivalent of 4,000 Uganda Shillings or
2,603 Tanzanian Shillings.
Ivan Ndawula, a commercial
the Kakuuto-Mutukula-Kyotera route noted that the number of motorists
Tanzania started increasing a week ago when they noticed that it was
cheaper for them to cross the border and fuel up from Tanzania.
//Cue in; “Ebeeyi yamafuta…
Cue out…enkumi nnya.”//
Apart from the bodaboda business, Ndawula and his wife
own a roadside petrol stall which they have to maintain for the good of their
customers. He noted that to keep their business running, they had to
opt for Tanzanian petrol which they sell at 4,800 Shillings in Uganda.
//Cue in; “Mukyalawange…
Cue out…embeera egaanye.”//
Ndawula further explains that they are using shortcuts
into Tanzania to avoid paying for the COVID-19 test which costs 120,000 Shillings at the Mutukula border.
//Cue In; “Okuyita wali eri…
a truck driver, says they usually fuel the trucks from Tanzania and
carry some extra fuel in jerricans on their way back to Uganda.
//Cue in; “Amafuta banange…
Cue out...tufune esanyu.”//
security officials told URN that most motorists and
fuel dealers use ungazetted entry points to access Tanzanian fuel
stations. They add that joint operations around the porous borders
have been intensified to combat the smuggling of fuel and other items
Kyotera District Chairman Patrick Kintu Kisekulo says,
however, that Tanzanian authorities had earlier on restricted a number
of Ugandans from accessing their
//Cue in; “Ate ffe tuyina…
Cue out...kyekizibu kyetuliko.”//
Unlike Malaba and Busia border entry points, the cargo trucks
flow at Mutukula customs point has remained normal with at least more than 100
trucks being cleared daily, according to the Uganda Revenue Authority Officials.