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Kenyan Government returns stolen luxury vehicles to the United Kingdom.1 minute read

The multi-agency operation was conducted by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Kenya Ports Authority (KRA)

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Kenya returns stolen luxury vehicles

The Kenyan government on Friday repatriated four of twenty-one stolen vehicles that it had seized after finding their way to Kenya from the United Kingdom and Belgium through the port of Mombasa. Two vehicles, a Range Rover Sport and a BMW X5, were successfully shipped back to the UK back in June 2019.

The multi-agency operation was conducted by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Kenya Ports Authority (KRA) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), with support from INTERPOL and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency through the British High Commission in Nairobi. The return of the luxury vehicles follows months of heightened surveillance and enforcement measures at all ports of entry.

Kenya returns stolen luxury vehicles

These were conducted in a bid to crackdown on an international criminal syndicate involved in the theft and resale of high-value vehicles originating in Europe and destined for the East African market. According to manifest information, all twenty-one vehicles were to transit through Kenya and travel onwards to other destinations in East Africa.

In a joint statement issued on Friday, the Kenyan government agencies said that in returning the vehicles, it wished to send a strong message to criminal networks in East Africa and beyond, that the port of Mombasa would not be used as a conduit for illicit trade.

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Uganda approves return of over 2,500 nationals stranded abroad

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Over 2,500 Ugandan nationals stranded abroad amid the Covid-19 pandemic can now return home as approved by the Ugandan cabinet.

The cabinet on Monday, agreed that Ugandan nationals trapped in 66 countries can return home at their own cost.

The government is making arrangements with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to fly the stranded citizens home, Judith Nabakooba, the country’s minister for information, communication technology and national guidance says, adding that all the returning citizens will have to undergo a 14-day mandatory institutional quarantine. 

President Yoweri Museveni last month, directed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to study the possibility of evacuating dozens of citizens stranded abroad amid Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions. 

To contain the spread of Covid-19, the country on March 22 suspended all incoming flights, except cargo flights. 

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Border closure hurts Tanzania’s horticultural exports

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A border closure between Tanzania and Kenya has hit Dar es Salaam’s horticulture sector due to long delays at the crossing for fresh produce truckers, resulting in a disruption of the supply chain.

Horticulture is one of Tanzania’s economic pillars.

This past week, Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA) Chief Executive, Jacqueline Mkindi asked the governments of Tanzania and Kenya to resolve the border issue for the sake of an already struggling exports industry.

Most of Tanzania’s horticulture produce is exported through Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). “If this tug of war continues, we’ll be the first to suffer as we still rely on JKIA and the port in Mombasa to export crops whose routes are not open from Tanzania,” Mkindi adds. “Our government has all along been considerate to horticulture. We advise it to embark on economic negotiations with Kenya to allow cargo to continue crossing borders smoothly.”

After an international aviation halt, the TAHA signed a deal with Ethiopian Airlines.

Despite the deal with Ethiopian Airlines to ferry fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers to global markets from Kilimanjaro International Airport, the airline has still not been granted long-term landing permits.

Currently, TAHA has to apply for a landing warrant for every incoming flight at routine airport charges and has to attach backup documents each time.

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Ethiopia to divest 40% of Ethio Telecom

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The Ethiopian government is finalizing plans to sell a 40 percent stake in Ethio Telecom- the country’s sole telecommunication provider . The plan was announced by Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance, Eyob Tekalign Tolina.

Ethiopia’s telecommunication industry is considered one of the last closed markets. It has been one of the government’s plans to liberalize the country’s economy launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Ethio Telecom has a large market serving a population of around 110 million.

The government will retain ownership of the remaining 60 percent.

Foreign firms in the telecom sector will be invited to bid and a percentage of the minority stake will be sold to Ethiopian citizens. South Africa’s MTN and Kenya’s Safaricom have shown interest in expanding into Ethiopia in the past.

Ethiopia’s communications regulator says the country would proceed with the privatisation of the telecommunications sector despite the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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