Kasese RDC Lt. Joe Walusimbi says that the move is meant to regulate the fish business and help the domestic market also thrive. He says that once the local fish market is deserted it hurts the local economy.
Local fish traders in Kasese will no longer export their fish and products
to markets in the Democratic Republic of Congo-DR Congo. They will strictly sell their products in Mpondwe Market in Kasese.
When Uganda closed open markets in 2020 to contain
the spread of COVID-19, local fish traders in Kasese and beyond opted to take their fish
directly to DRC. Because
of the better prices across the border, even when the Mpondwe fish market re-opened
in December last year, the traders continued crossing to cross to DRC.
This triggered an outcry from local business people, porters, and
the town council authorities who have been benefiting directly from the fish business in the market. However, during a stakeholders
meeting, it was resolved only licensed fish traders will be allowed to cross
The meeting attracted Ugandan traders, politicians, and security
teams from both countries. Kasese RDC Lt. Joe Walusimbi says that the move is meant to regulate the fish business
and help the domestic market also thrive. He says that once the
local fish market is deserted it hurts the local economy.
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Chuta Charles Omeoga, the Bennie Administrator in DRC, said that unregulated fish business had previously fueled between DRC and Uganda. He says
that both countries can only preserve the lake if the fish business is fully
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Stanley Bwambale, the chairperson of Fish Traders in Mpondwe, says that the fish market attracts hundreds of Congolese
who also acquire other services once they have come to Uganda.
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Sylvester Mapozi, the LC III chairperson of Mpondwe lhubiriha Town council, says that the town council has been losing close to Shillings 60 million in the last two years when the fish
market was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected service delivery in the town council.
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Kasese LC V chairperson, Eliphazi
Muhindi, says that Mpondwe is
an international market that would have not let to die. He says that both teams have in unanimity resolved that
petty traders from both countries be
regulated so that domestic markets can thrive.
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Falene Kasayi, a fish trader from DR Congo had welcomed the move, arguing that it will reduce the competition
between local and bulky fish traders.