President William Ruto is set to meet his Ugandan counterpart Gen.Yoweri Museveni to find a way around e the fuel import dispute that saw Kampala take Nairobi to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).
This according to the Kenyan East African Community and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peninah Malonza that the two principals urgengtly want to find a solution after Kenya blocked Uganda from using its pipeline to transport fuel.
Uganda had elected to use Kenya’s pipeline to transport its fuel from the port of Mombasa directly to the capital, Kampala arguing that the Kenyan middlemen were resposnible for the high pump prices in Uganda . However, Kenya rejected the move noting that will affect its local oil marketing companies.
Malonza downplayed the dispute, saying each member state of the East African Community (EAC) was founded on its own
“There is a scheduled meeting between the two presidents to discuss the impasse and Kenya will also seek to explain her position during the next East Africa Community Heads of States Summit,” the Malonza told journalists in Kitui.
“There is no cause for alarm because such trade disagreements are normal. Each country is established under different laws and principles and therefore, we relate on the basis of the binding treaties and other diplomatic protocols,” she explained .
“Uganda is not only Kenya’s biggest trading partner, it is also the biggest market for Kenyan oil. Nairobi and Kampala have co-existed very well since independence and both countries value each other’s economic potential,” she added .
EAC Secretary-General Peter Mathuki has since issued a statement urging partner states to focus on peaceful resolution of any disputes and restraint while strictly adhering to the spirit of the treaty, particularly on peaceful co-existence and good neighbourliness.
“The Community’s operational principles provide that our integration is people-centred and that all our undertakings should strictly observe this spirit. In the event of any dispute arising between two or more partner states, it is expected that we use the existing EAC Dispute Resolution Mechanism that fully respect the integrity and sovereignty of each state,” Mathuki said.
He said the Secretariat was working closely with the Office of the Chairperson of the Summit of EAC Heads of State to provide the necessary facilitation for the peaceful resolution of any disputes that may arise between partner states.
In November last year, the High Court in Nairobi barred the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) from processing a licence application from the Uganda National Oil Company (Unoc).
The Kenya’s cabinet has also delayed a decision that would exempt Unoc from key requirements: Proof of ownership of a licensed petroleum depot and five retail stations, proof of annual sales of 6.6 million litres of petroleum products and a turnover of $10 million for the past three years.
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