Uhuru orders release of cargo lying at Embakasi depot

Uhuru orders release of cargo lying at Embakasi depot
President Uhuru Kenyatta makes an impromtu visit at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Embakasi. PHOTO| PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the release of all cargo lying at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Embakasi within the next three weeks.

Kenyatta issued the directive on Monday after making a second impromtu visit at the depot following complaints from traders whose goods have been withheld at the facility for months.

“…traders have been lamenting that their businesses are suffering because of the delays that are here at the depot. We have agreed that all containers that have not be cleared be released within three weeks so that traders can continue with their businesses,” said Kenyatta.

The president, however, pointed out that part of the problem at the depot was being caused by brokers handling consolidated cargo who have been trying to evade taxes.

“We have also realised that some of the problems being experienced here is because of those doing consolidation… They ship in goods but they declare the container is heading to maybe Uganda or South Sudan in an attempt to evade tax,” said the Head State.

He directed that all consolidators be vetted and gazetted by the Kenya Revenue Authority to seal the tax loopholes.

“All consolidators now have to be vetted and gazetted by KRA… Those trying to use shortcuts let them be kicked aside and let us have diligent people doing business,” said the President.

On Sunday, President Kenyatta made also made a surprise visit at the Embakasi depot where seized containers are being stored.

He was  accompanied by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and heads of the multi-agency task force.

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