Cross Border Business Slowly Resumes in Mpondwe

Business is slowly picking up along Uganda-DR. Congo border in the aftermath of a bomb explosion in a church in the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC. On Sunday, a bomb went off in a Protestant church in Kasindi town, North Kivu Province killing more than 10 people and wounding more than 30 others, according to reports from news agencies in the country.

Kasindi is about 3 Km from Mpondwe border in Kasese district. Following the incident, Uganda heightened security on its side with increased surveillance and restricted cross-border trade and movements. Security installed a body scanner to search all the people entering the country through the border point.    

This affected business as many traders from both sides feared crossing the border. However, business is picking but with security heads urging residents in the district to remain vigilant. Vincent Kakandi, a truck driver told URN that drivers were on Tuesday able to drive to DRC and back to Uganda without fear after being assured of safety by soldiers on both sides of the border.

Ramathan Musa, another driver who was crossing to DRC for the first time, said he feared crossing into the country on Sunday after getting information about a bomb explosion. 

He, however, said that he was able to move later on Monday when Uganda forces assured them that the security situation was under control.   

Muhindi Kanyangwe, a clearing agent at the Mpondwe border market said that business was slow between Sunday and Monday as many people feared to come into the markets. 

But adds that businesses remained open on the Uganda side and slowly there more clients coming in from the DRC side.  

Eden Zabron, who lost his grandmother in the explosion noted that the Sunday explosion created fear among the community since ADF has previously crossed into Uganda.  

He added that his grandmother had gone to the church for a four-day conference before the Sunday incident.   

According to the deputy Resident District Commissioner in-change of Bukonzo Lt. Maate Magwara, security is surveillance appealing to the community on both sides to get back to their normal businesses but with vigilance.   

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