As the Rwandan border with Uganda at Katuna and Cyanika remain closed for three months now, traders from either side have resorted to smuggling.
Local residents and traders told this newspaper yesterday that smuggling is risky, but highly rewarding with abnormal profits if one beats the Rwandan security forces to the game.
Enock Kazooba, the chairman of Ryakarikira Town Council in Kabale District, which borders with Rwanda, said during night hours, Rwandan nationals smuggle beans, peas and some manufactured goods to Uganda through ungazetted border points, where waiting Ugandan traders pay them cash.
“They have resorted to this illegal trade to raise money for funding their daily needs. Ever since the Rwandan border was closed, many Rwandan nationals have entered Uganda and are staying in different communities in the sub-counties near the border,” Mr Kazooba said.
On February 27, Rwandan authorities closed their border with Uganda at Katuna, accusing Uganda of torturing its citizens and immediately stopped them from crossing into Uganda. Uganda denies the claim.
Last month, a Rwandan businessman, Mr Innocent Mr Ndahimana, a resident of Nyakabungo Village, Chumba Sub-county in Gicumbi District in Rwanda was allegedly shot by Rwandan security operatives as he tried to smuggle about 500kg of beans into Uganda during evening hours.