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Community livestock in Elerrai area of Nkama in Kibini enjoy a sip of water from a borehole. Livestock from Tanzania also use the same water source in Kenya

Border restrictions killing livestock business

By Abdi Hussein

The business tiff between Kenya and Tanzania continues to affect traders at Namanga one stop border.

Kenyan livestock traders have been blocking their Tanzanian counterpart from accessing Ilbisil Market accusing them of unfair business competition and strict livestock movement restrictions by Tanzania authority denying Kenyan traders opportunities.

Ilbisil cattle market held on every Friday is arguably the biggest livestock market in Kajiado County attracting traders from neighbouring Tanzania.

However, recently Tanzania cattle traders have been blocked from accessing the market. Kenyan trader’s claim their Tanzanian counterparts have been lowering prices of the livestock in the market making them sell at loss.

A spot check indicates an average bull is sells at Sh 50,000 at the market by a Kenyan trader compared to Sh 45,000 from Tanzania trader.

Kenyan cattle traders claim strict cattle movement restriction has been imposed by Tanzania authority for them to cross the boundary for the same business.

Maasai herders are wide spread in the two neighboring countries making livestock business a booming multimillion enterprise currently in the wake of collapse.

Kenyan traders have been continuous complaining of mistreatment by Tanzania immigration agent’s sparking the recent witnessed protests at the boarder point against the East Africa community trade accord.

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