Small scale traders at the Namanga border town, Kajiado County will be issued with free movement permits for up to 15 kilometres either side of the town, to ease their business activities.
The resolution was reached after a joint meeting of officials from the national government, county government and One Stop Border Post (OSBP) officials among others, with the aim of allowing free trade within the border.
“We have set aside all permit payment fees for our small scale traders in this area so that they can be able to move their goods easily,” Kajiado Central Deputy County Commissioner Charles Wambugu said.
He added, “We are determined to unite our people irrespective of their origin since even the locals here have inter-married, making all of us one people, boundaries notwithstanding.”
In a meeting co-chaired by the deputy county commissioner and his Tanzanian counterpart, the Longido District Commissioner James Mwaisumbe, the officials vowed to ensure that traders and travellers at the border town get to benefit from OSBP services in line with the spirit of cooperation between East African Community.
Mwaisumbe reiterated that the free trade at the border is expected to build lasting peace and improve the economic status within the border towns. However, Elizabeth Waki Kinyanjui, a clearing agent’s representative complained over the endless delays by KRA as the biggest menace that the border facility faces.
“We are yet to enjoy the efficiency in the clearing of goods at the border post since we have nothing to smile about yet as clearing agents,” she said. “Since 2010 our trucks have to take 10-30 days at the border post awaiting clearance by KRA officials which is too costly for us in the region,” Kinyanjui told the meeting.
The delay at the border was blamed on the department of Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) procedures of verifying samples of the products.