PSF Boss Faustin Mbundu

Rwandan traders are optimistic that efforts to press the Kenyan Government for compensation for the losses incurred during the 2007 post election violence in Kenya will be successful.

The business community in Rwanda and their counterparts in Uganda, through the East African Business Council (EABC) are pushing for compensation from Kenya for losses incurred during the country’s post election turmoil.

Faustin Mbundu, the Chairman of Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) told Business Times in an interview last week that recent developments have provided a ray of hope. .

“We have seen positive response from Kenya. They (Kenya) are willing to compensate traders from member states for losses they incurred during the riots,” he said in a telephone interview.

Mbundu said negotiations between Kenya and EABC—the umbrella organ of the private sector in the region—are ongoing and expected to yield success and see traders compensated.

Lilian Awinja, the Acting EABC Membership Services and Communications Manager confirmed in a statement the dialogue between Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki and the EABC.

Theodore Murenzi, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Long distance truck Drivers Association noted that local traders incurred heavy losses through loss of consignments, cars that were burnt by rioters while many Rwandan traders were attacked in hotels they were residing in with trucks destined for Rwanda along the Northern corridor  looted.

“Our businesses were affected. So, if the Kenyan Government is willing to compensate us (it) shows how much sympathetic they are towards losses we incurred in their country,” he said

Rwanda mainly relies on Kenya’s Mombasa Port Mombasa to ship her exports and imports through the Northern Corridor.

The Northern corridor also serves Uganda, Northern Tanzania, DRC and south Sudan, indicating that Kenya plays a big role in regional trade.

By Dias Nyesiga, The New Times



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