KABALE – The Kabale Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Darius Nandinda, has said the closure of the Rwanda-Uganda border by Rwanda is affecting the latter’s citizens more than Ugandans.
Addressing journalists in Kabale Town on Monday, Mr Nandinda said that the closure of the border and restriction of the Rwandan nationals from entering Uganda is a punishment to the Rwandese by its country.
“The Rwandans denying their nationals from entering Uganda is their right though it is biting them hard because Rwandan communities near the Ugandan borders have been crossing to get social services such as the education of their children, health services and buying household items and food staffs from the markets and trading centers,” Mr Nandinda said.
“The issue of Rwandan authorities denying their nationals to enter Uganda is a real boomerang that shall backfire on them because they have been beneficiaries of several social services from Uganda,” he added.
He also dismissed allegations that Uganda has deployed its soldiers on the borders with Rwanda.
“There is no security threat to warrant the deployment of the soldiers on our borders with Rwanda. Rwandans in Uganda are as free as Ugandans. Anybody claiming that Rwandans are harassed in Uganda is a liar. No Rwandan national is asked to produce a working permit before he/she is employed as a casual laborer in Uganda communities around the Rwandan border,” Mr Nandinda said.
The officer in charge of customs at Katuna, Mr Emmanuel Bamanya, said that they readjusted the cargo trucks parked in the no-mans land to create a way for buses to cross as they are not restricted.
“On Sunday, 8 buses from Rwanda and 2 buses from Uganda crossed the Ugandan border with Rwanda at Katuna shortly after we have readjusted the cargo trucks parked in the no-mans land to create space. The situation for cargo trucks has remained the same as there is none allowed crossing to Rwanda,” Mr. Bamanya said.
The mayor for Katuna Town Council, Mr. Nelson Nshangabasheija, wondered why the Rwandan authorities allowed the buses to cross to Uganda and continued denying cargo trucks entry into their country yet where the buses pass, the cargo trucks can pass too.
“It is true the buses from Rwanda were cleared and entered Uganda through Katuna border post but none of the occupants was a Rwandan national. Denying cargo trucks entry into Rwanda is no longer the issue of the construction of the one-stop border post as earlier claimed but punishing the business community whose merchandise is getting spoilt in the cargo trucks because the space which the buses use to cross to either country is the same the cargo trucks use,” Mr Nshangabasheija said.