Uganda has written to the Government of South Sudan seeking reimbursement of funds paid to Ugandan traders and companies on behalf of South Sudan.
In 2018, Parliament endorsed government's request to clear Shs151 billion owed to Ugandan traders and companies by the South Sudan Government.
Ugandan traders supplied goods and services to the Government of South Sudan between 2008 and 2010 but following an outbreak of conflict in December 2013, the payment process was interrupted.
Following this, the two governments entered into a mutual agreement that would ensure Uganda clears the payments and treat it as a loan to the Government of South Sudan.
While appearing before the Trade Tourism and Industries committee on Thursday, 03 November 2022, the Finance Minister, Hon. Matia Kasaija said that he had written to the South Sudan Government asking for reimbursement of the money they paid to Ugandan traders.
“We have already submitted letters of claim and when I met the South Sudan Minister, he answered positively that they have received the letter and they are making preparations to pay,” Kasaija said.
He said that they waited to start demanding the repayment after they conclude the payments.
Kasaija’s response followed questions from the committee on the selective payment of South Sudan traders.
The Committee Chairperson, Hon. Mwine Mpaka asked the minister to explain how they selected the claimants and efforts to recover the money, how Ernest and Young was contracted to conduct verifications and issues of individual traders who do not appear on the list.
“The issue of South Sudan traders seems not to end. We are aware that a certain super 10 were paid their money; this money was also meant to accrue interest; How much interest have you got?” he questioned.
According to the agreement, the money was to be paid back between five to 10 years with an interest of six per cent after the first year.
Government has so far paid Shs155 billion to category one traders.
Some of the compensated companies are Aponye Uganda, Kibungo Enterprises, KK Transporters, Ropani International Company, APO General Agency and Queens Transport, Trade and Investment and ROKO construction Company among others.
Meanwhile Kasaija has also committed to reaching out to other Ugandans who lost their property, and also lost dear ones in South Sudan so that they can dialogue with the Government of South Sudan on possible compensation.
This followed MPs questions relating to the several traders who have lost life and property but are not on the list.
According to Hon. Francis Mwijukye, the Buhweju County Mp, several traders and parents and siblings of people who died in South Sudan want to be compensated.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.