Kampala- Traders have warned that the continuous night travel ban by the Kenyan government on long-distance public service vehicles will lead to a hike in prices of commodities.

According to the chairman Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita), Mr Everest Kayondo, this is because the ban has cost implications on the side of traders due to the increased number of transaction days.

“The ban is affecting our traders badly because most of them travel in the night as they go on with normal business during the day. This means the journey time which has been three days will now go up to six days or more,” said Mr Kayondo.

He says that the added time hikes the cost of doing business as people incur extra expenses in terms of food and accommodation thereby eating into their profits.

He, however, says the traders have started consultations with the ministry of Trade to assess if the ban is a non-tariff barrier. The discussions will also inform the way forward.

“As Kacita we have been fighting the introduction of non-tariff barriers and with this ban, discussions are ongoing with the Trade ministry,” said Mr Kayondo.

Mr David Ondyege, a trader who was stuck at the Busia border for days, told this reporter how the ban is affecting their businesses.

“The ban is really frustrating us. The border is very congested because we are lining up for longer hours for registration since busses are arriving at the same time,” he said.

On December 31, the Kenyan government banned long-distance public service vehicles from traveling at night in a bid to reduce accidents that had claimed 200 lives in the month of December alone.

In a statement by Kenya’s director general of the National Transport and Safety Authority Mr Francis Meja, the ban was intended to prohibit buses ferrying passengers to long distances from operating beyond 7 p.m.

rkemigisa@ug.nationmedia.com