Local leaders in Kabale are demanding for stringent laws regulating the entry of Rwandan nationals to Uganda.
They argue that despite the implement of the East African Community Common market protocol, which provides for free movement of goods and services among member states, Rwanda still imposes restrictions on Ugandan nationals seeking to gain entry.
The leaders claim that Rwandan nationals cross into Uganda freely to access health and education services, but Ugandans who try to cross into Rwanda are turned away. They say whenever Ugandan boda boda riders cross into Rwanda they are harassed by the Rwandan security and local authorities.
Catherine Kyomugisha, the Kabale District Education, Health, Social services, Sports and Technology Committee Secretary, says over 1000 Rwandans cross to Uganda each month to access free health services at Kamuganguzi health center IV in Katuna town council, Maziba health center IV in Maziba sub county and Rubaya health center IV in Butanda Sub county.
She says the high number of Rwandan nationals seeking treatment has led to an increase of drug stock out hence affecting service delivery.
Keddress Mutabazi, the Deputy Mayor Kabale Municipality, says many Rwandans cross freely to Kabale for business, which isn’t reciprocated by the Rwandan authorities.
Darias Nandiinda, the Kabale Resident District Commissioner says that most of the Rwandan nationals cross to Uganda at night through ungazzeted points. He wants the East African Affairs Ministry to intervene and look for immediate solution.
Julius Muganda Wandera, the East African Community Affairs State Minister, says all people in East African community are free to enter member states and transact business.
He says his office will engage the Rwanda Government on the issues raised by the Kabale authorities.