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Kenya scrambles for Uganda maize

Tuesday, 9th August, 2011

Kenyan traders have invaded Bugisu, Bukedi and Sebei regions to purchase maize following food shortage in neighbouring countries.

Several traders are moving door-to-door in the villages in eastern region, searching for harvested maize grain to buy.

Over three million people are estimated to be facing food shortage in Kenya.

The purchased maize from the villages is collected at Bungokho sub-county headquarters in Mbale district, where it is loaded on trailers and taken out of the country through Malaba and Lwakhakha border points to Kenya daily.

However, the area local leaders and a number of community members, are concerned over the big volume of maize grain being ferried out of the country when famine is biting hard in the local communities.

“We are not going to allow our people to sell food because at the end, the leaders are blamed for not intervening. Some of the leaders at the sub- county are backing the sale of maize, which exposes our people to serious famine,” local leaders said.

Robert Mamabonga, the Natshihaso village LC1 secretary, has threatened to mobilise the community to block the Kenyan traders if the Government does not intervene.

Mamabonga was also angry that the over 50 casual labourers, who load the maize grain on trucks, were Kenyans.

“These men have spent over one month in my village without any documentation that introduces them.

“They are now a security threat because they sleep under tents at the sub-county. We do not know what they do at night,” Mamabonga said.

By Paul Watala : The New Vision Newspaper

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