As Kenya prepares to go to the polls in August, Uganda will divert to using the port of Dar-es-Salam to ensure there is no scarcity of fuel and other imported goods in the country.
State Minister for Finance in charge of General Duties, Henry Musasizi, said the government has already procured vessels that will be used to transport fuel from Dar-es-salaam to Kampala in case the Mombasa route is disrupted by electoral violence.
Musasizi said that over 75 per cent of the goods that enter Uganda go through the Mombasa port and the government would not want to see any disruptions to supply.
“We are not saying there will be violence, we are saying there is a political risk because of the August elections in Kenya and how do we ensure that we don’t get supply disruptions?” the state minister said.
“We are saying that should it happen, there should be an alternative. We have another port of Dar-es-Salaam which can also be used to bring in fuel through the lake,” he added.
Musasizi made the remarks while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on the National Economy to give the state of the country’s economy and the public debt.
He also revealed that in preparation for the eventualities, the government has already procured vessels that will be used to transport fuel from Dar-es-Salaam to Kampala.
“As the government, we have procured vessels which can be used to transport fuel through Mombasa port to Kampala, just in case. Even when there is no political risk, we feel it is better management to have options,” Musasizi added.
On Uganda’s public debt of Shs73.5 trillion, the state minister said that in the next financial year, it is likely to increase beyond the threshold of 50 per cent or 54.3 per cent.
He said that government has, however, put in place strategies to bring it below the threshold in the near future.
“We believe the investments we are making in the oil and gas sector and the Parish Development Model will stimulate the economy to make it perform better and help us bring back the threshold below 50 percent,” he said.