Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni late on Sunday called for dialogue with neighboring Kenya over the maize crisis.
Museveni in a televised address said it is only through dialogue and not retaliation that the recent ban on importation of Uganda’s maize by Kenya can be solved. “Uganda produces maize cheaply, and we can undersell it (to) anybody in the world.
Some of the neighboring countries get worried and keep away maize from Uganda. We can’t solve that by retaliation,” said Museveni.
“We need to solve it by engaging them. Dialogue, engagement and corporation is what we need, not just empty shouting,” he said.
Kenya last week announced a ban on importation of Ugandan maize, saying it is not fit for human consumption. Ugandan legislators called for a reciprocal move on Kenyan products imported into Uganda.
“The other day I heard some of our MPs (Members of Parliament) talking of retaliation, I couldn’t agree with that type of line,” said Museveni. “The problem of maize would not arise if we had gone for the federation. What we need is to patiently work for the integration of East Africa and Africa,” the president said.
According to local press reports, Ugandan officials were scheduled to meet their Kenyan counterparts last week to resolve the matter. The maize ban also comes after Kenya last year seized Ugandan made milk products over safety concerns.