Ugandan minister slams Tanzania over unfair treatment
As Air Tanzania revives flights to Entebbe
The State Minister of Works in the Government of Uganda has lashed out at what he calls unfair treatment of Ugandan truck drivers who are over-charged while operating within the Tanzanian territory.
Uganda’s State Minister for Transport Aggrey Bagiire cautiously welcomed the resumption of Air Tanzania flights to Entebbe Airport as a gesture that Tanzania needs to change its policies and habits that have adversely affected trade by Ugandans doing business in the neighbouring country.
Bagiire explained that although he signed a plan to allow Air Tanzania to resume flights, he was hesitant because for a long time he has been asking the Authorities in Tanzania to address two issues that affect Ugandan traders while operating in that country but in vain.
Speaking at the launch of the Air Tanzania flights to Entebbe, Bagiire used this opportunity to ask his counterpart, the Transport minister for Tanzania Isaac Kamwele to consider reducing the charges and levies imposed on truck drivers which he says frustrate trade between the two countries.
“It is really unfair that when our trucks go through the roads of Tanzania, were charged 500 dollars and when their trucks come to Uganda, we charge them 40 dollars. I thinks this is not the spirit of togetherness and brotherhood that Ugandans and Tanzanians share, the other one is the roaming, when you are in Uganda now Hon minister sir, you will enjoy but when we come to Tanzania we are charged a lot of money and this one hampers trade”.
When asked for his response on the matter, Kamwele told The Sunrise Newspaper that the two countries have embarked on series of business meetings to iron out these trade barriers.
On the resumption of the Air Tanzania flights to Entebbe International Airport, Kamwele said that after a period of 10 years of no services, the 4-frequency Air Tanzania flights per week will boost trade and strengthened the bilateral ties between the two countries.
He explains that the launch Air Tanzania Flights to Entebbe Airport at a time when Uganda is reviving her airline will not only ease connections between the East African Countries but also contribute to the growth of a competitive Aviation industry in the region.
Air Tanzania’s 76-seater Q400 series plane that will be flying to Entebbe Airport four days every week, but Kamwele says that depending on the increase of passengers, Air Tanzania will be flying daily.
“Being aware that plans are underway to revive Uganda airlines this is another opportunity for the two sister countries to work together and ensure there is return on investment made. Cooperation is the only way out so we have to cooperate between Tanzania and Uganda in order to make sure we share our plan. We will be competing against well-established Air lines in the regional and international Markers be we have a competitive advantage of being favoured by ongoing economic growth in the two countries,” Kamwele
Air Tanzania extended its services to Entebbe International Airport with its inaugural flight on Sunday, August 26, 2018. The flight was honoured with a water salute; a customary welcome in the aviation industry.
In his remarks, the Bagiire noted that this is a huge step towards easing connections between the East African countries and that it will help boost trade between the two countries. The Tanzanian Ambassador to Uganda confirmed that Air Tanzania will offer affordable flights with high frequency through Entebbe International Airport totalling 4 times a week.
Bagiire was optimistic that the entry of Air Tanzania to the Entebbe route will meet the travel demands of East Africans.
“On top of the low fares, Air Tanzania will offer customers the ability to customize their travel to their needs and budget by allowing excess luggage and issuing tickets that don’t expire”, he added
The Managing Director and CEO of Air Tanzania; Eng. Ladislaus Matindi said that, “The Wings of Kilimanjaro is proud to once again serve East Africa with direct flights and smooth connections to and from Tanzania. The service will enhance investment, trade and tourism opportunities in the region”.
The airline operates a fleet of 5 carefully selected aircrafts including a Boeing 787-7 Dreamliner to meet performance, dependability and comfort.