Commodities

South Sudan disowns Ugandan traders, says some won’t be paid

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By ISMAIL MUSA LADU

Posted  Wednesday, May 28   2014 at  01:00
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Kampala

Not all the 145 traders that did business with the government of South Sudan about five years ago will be paid, the neigbouring revenue body has said.

This might not go down well with the traders who collectively demand nearly Shs130 billion from the Juba government.
According to the traders’ leadership, majority of them were sub-contracted by South Sudanese companies with full endorsement of the Juba government to supply the world’s newest state with food stuff (grains) among other deliveries and services.

However, the director general of the South Sudan customs service, Mr Mikaya Modi Lubajo, said last week that most Ugandan traders did not supply anything as they claim and will not be paid when the long awaited verification comes to an end.

“Not all those who claimed to have imported or supplied goods to South Sudan did so,” Mr Modi said last week while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to collaborate on custom related issues. He, however, declined to provide the exact number of those who will be paid when asked.
Mr Isa Ssekitto, the Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita) spokesperson, on Monday said it is hard to believe what Mr Modi said.

“They are just trying to dodge responsibility,” he said.
“Should it become clear that our traders will not be compensated, we will not only cut all ties with them, but we will peacefully demonstrate and campaign against their inclusion in the EAC, among many other things we have lined up to show our displeasure,” he added.

The URA Commissioner for customs, Mr Richard Kamajugo, said the goods that made it through the customs between 2008/2009 have been verified. The first batch, he said took quite a while because it was recorded and stored in manual form.

iladu@ug.nationmedia.com