Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is expected in neighbouring Tanzania on August 9, 2018, for a one-day state visit.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African cooperation said in a statement that the purpose of the visit is to cement the existing historical ties between the two countries,
President Museveni will be hosted by his Tanzanian counterpart, John Magufuli and the two are expected to hold private talks at State house followed by a luncheon courteously prepared in honour of the Ugandan statesman.
Museveni’s visit, however, comes at a time when East Africa Community is being rocked by trade wars between member states.
Uganda’s Daily Monitor on Monday reported that Tanzania had slapped a 25 per cent Import Duty on Ugandan sugar exports contrary to the East African Community Common Market Protocol, which recommends zero tax on goods manufactured within the region.
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Mr Vincent Seruma, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) assistant commissioner for public and corporate affairs, said Kakira Sugar Works in May had exported 12,000 bags (600 tonnes) of locally manufactured sugar but was denied entry to Tanzania and forced to return.
“Under the EAC Common Market Protocol, this [sugar] is supposed to enjoy preferential treatment at 0 per cent Import Duty within in EAC partner states because it is wholly produced in Uganda. However … Tanzania decided to impose a duty of 25 per cent, a violation of the EAC rules of origin and the Common Market Protocol.”
Tanzania alleges the Ugandan sugar were sneaked from Kenya into Uganda.
Earlier in April, the same fate had befell Kenya, which has been hit by cheap dirty sugar importation scandal which is not fit for human consumption, after Kenyan-made confectionery products such as sweets, juice, ice cream and chewing gum were slapped with a 25 per cent import duty with Tanzania citing use of imported industrial sugar in the goods despite the Kenyan firms providing certificates of origin issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
Initially, Tanzania and Uganda had both denied entry to the Kenyan confectionery products but after much deliberation and protests from the Kenyan government and traders, Uganda softens its stance and allowed the goods into the country.
Tanzania however stuck to its guns forcing the Kenyan government to issue a 30-day ultimatum to Magufuli’s administration failure to which Tanzanian goods will also be blocked from entering the country.
During the 2018/19 budget, Tanzania changed the EAC External Common Tariff with a view to charging an import duty of 25 per cent for finished goods, 10 per cent for intermediate goods and Zero per cent for raw materials and capital goods.
According to the changes exporters dealing in sugar, sweets, edible oil, safety matches, steel and iron products, chocolates, tomato sauce, meat, sausages, biscuits, and mineral water face tariffs ranging between 10 per cent and 35 per cent to access the Tanzanian market.