By a Correspondent
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has urged the National Defence College to come up with homegrown policies on intelligence matters.
Addressing a delegation from the National Defence College during an exchange programme meeting at the Farmview Hotel on Wednesday, the Governor said the revised defence policies should recognise communities at border counties who play vital roles.
” The kind of policies we have on our borders are not working out properly, we need homegrown solutions on matters intelligence in regards to defence in Busia County,” HE Ojaamong said.
The Governor noted that Busia Airstrip was forced to close due to security challenges as planes used to make u-turns on Ugandan air space before landing on the Kenyan side.
“Busia as the gateway to East and Central Africa continues to enjoy cordial relations with Uganda and other Great Lakes Region but porous borders are an impediment to security owing to nature of goods smuggled across the border,” he said.
The Governor said although the One Stop Border Post in Busia and Malaba has ensured seamless flow of goods and services, it had led to over 5000 youth lose their jobs as clearing agents.
“Worse still, differential taxation in Kenya and Uganda has led to many Kenyans crossing to Uganda to purchase goods which are cheaper, thus the need to harmonize tax regimes in Kenya and Uganda,” the Governor said.
Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi said 48 per cent of trade between Kenya and the Great Lakes Region is processed at the Busia and Malaba border points, but lack of bypasses has led to pile ups of trucks.
He said over 1500 trucks pass through Busia and Malaba border points, noting that the County Government has purchased 10 acres of land in Malaba and 6 acres in Busia for construction of trailer parks, adding that construction of Busia trailer park is already in progress.
HE Mulomi said Busia County continue to be the frontline of ebola, thus the need for program surveillance and medical facilities at the border to cushion against the pandemic.
NDC leader of delegation, Major-General Patrick Amogola said they are in Busia to benchmark on national security strategies and to listen and hear from the county leadership on their policies and harmonization, successes and challenges.