Tuesday, 8 January 2008

ANALYSIS: The Cost of Kenya Violence

From The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda

LAST week, Ugandans were jolted to the hard reality that comes with living from hand to mouth

The street-running battles and smouldering scenes in Kenya brought home to Ugandans the realisation that unlike having chaos in Rwanda, DRC or southern Sudan, any minimum instability in its eastern neighbour brings catastrophic economic tremors.

And as Business Power reporters ELIAS BIRYABAREMA, ISMAIL MUSA LADU & DOROTHY NAKAWEESI found out, Kenya's own losses could be riding way into millions of dollars from violent disruptions across the country; Uganda however almost came to a standstill by the end of last week as the crisis exposed the fragility of the nation's economic foundations.

The immediate eye opener was the scarcity of fuel leading to skyrocketing of fuel pump prices by more than 300 per cent at the peak of the scarcity last week as the government frantically tried to explain away the situation as temporary.

Local airlines operating internal flights were ordered to halt business to save on jet fuel, buses plying across the boarder into Kenya stopped operations, thousands of tonnes of goods destined to Uganda remain trapped in Kenya and transport fairs have since tripled across the country.

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