KENYA and Uganda have agreed on a deal that will allow free movement of labour between the two countries.
As a start, those moving to either country for a period of six months will not require their passports from January.
Kenyans moving to Uganda will only have to produce their identity cards at the border while Ugandans will produce their voter’s card to access the country.
This was reached at the ninth Kenya and Uganda joint border technical commissioners meeting that ended in Kisumu yesterday.
The Kenyan delegation at the forum was led by Western regional Coordinator James Ole Serian while Ugandan Presidential Assistant Mohammed Mayanja led a team from Uganda.
Speaking during the closure of the three day conference at Sunset hotel, Mayanja said they resolved that citizens of either country will get free work permits in any of the two nations.
“Kenyans moving to Uganda to seek employment will not be charged for the work permit so as the Ugandans coming to Kenya,” he added.
He pointed out that they will just have to identify various jobs and apply for the permits which will be handed to them free of charge.
“We have agreed that as from January next year Kenyans or Ugandans moving to either of the two countries for six months are allowed without any restrictions of producing their passports,” Mayanja said.
“This is a resolution we have agreed that we shall present to the authorities for further approval so that it takes effect as from the beginning of next year,” he said.
The EAC Common Market calls for free movement of goods, persons, labour, services and capital in the five states of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi.
On the disputed Migingo Island, Ole Serian said they resolved that the two countries expedite arrangements to complete the survey.
“We have resolved that the survey of the border resumes in a period of one month so that the report is presented to the ministerial committee for implementation,” Serian said.
He said there will be a joint visit to the Island to verify extortion and harassment of Kenyan fishermen at the Isle.
The fishermen there have complained in the past of being forced by Ugandan authorities to pay Sh 4,000 Monthly protection fee per boat per Month.
Nyatike MP Edick Anyanga in whose constituency the Island lies said Kenya and Uganda was dragging its feet in addressing the Migingo dispute.
More than Sh 140 million was set aside by the Kenyan Government for the survey works at the Island.