Uganda: MPs Want to Meet South Sudan Government Over Compensation

(file photo).

Kampala, Uganda — The select committee on South Sudan compensation has said they are planning to meet officials from South Sudan over compensation of Ugandan traders.

The committee chaired by Ann Maria Nakabirwa was set up to investigate the payment of 41 billion Shillings to 10 Ugandan companies out of 33 that Parliament had approved.

Among the ten companies that were in the process of being paid include; Rubya Investments, Kibungo Entreprises, Aponye (U) Ltd, Afro Kai Ltd, Swift commodities establishment ltd, Sunrise commodities, Sophie Omari, Apo General Agencies, Ropani International and KK Travelers.

The process is part of a request by the Ugandan government for parliamentary approval, to clear a debt of 151 billion Shillings owed to Ugandan traders and companies by the South Sudan government. The traders supplied goods and services from 2008 but were never paid following a conflict that started in 2013.

The committee says it will have to interact with the South Sudan Government to understand some of the issues raised by the suppliers like the huge claims.

Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality MP says the suppliers have various challenges including cases were women were allegedly raped by South Sudan soldiers, others of people losing their merchandise in stores in Juba, while in some cases, contractors in South Sudan appear to have fraudulently taken the money of Ugandans after they were paid by South Sudan.

He says it is important that if they are to give a detailed report to Parliament, they need to understand the depth of the compensation.

Mpuuga says they can do this by having the South Sudanese representative here or by South Sudan sending their representatives.

Mpuuga was speaking at the background of the meeting today by South Sudan suppliers, the joint Action for the redemption of Ugandan traders in South Sudan, a group that has 129 companies and individuals.

During the meeting, the traders protested the move to compensate only a few while a bulk of the suppliers were languishing in losses.

Zaidi Rwatooro, who demands over US$400,000 in goods supplied to individuals says Government should also stand for people who supplied other individuals and they have not been paid. He says although they did not deal directly with Government of South Sudan, they should not be ignored.

Companies that were not included on the list include; Roko Construction company, Ake-jo General enterprise, JB Traders, Odyek Ejang Company, Dott Services, Gunya company limited, Premier company, MFK company among others.

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