Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Trade Amelia Kyambadde has disputed the list of Uganda-South Sudan traders scheduled for payment.
Kyambadde together with Trade Ministry officials were on Tuesday appearing before Parliament’s Select Committee investigating the payment of sh 41 billion to 10 Ugandan companies which supplied goods to South Sudan.
Following parliament’s approval of a bilateral agreement between Uganda and South Sudan on 3rd April 2018, the Finance Ministry paid sh 40 billion to the Uganda-South Sudan grain traders which payment was acknowledged on 7th March 2019.
The payment is based on a list of 23 companies that Finance Ministry presented and parliament approved together with the bilateral agreement in which South Sudan government committed to refund the money to Uganda.
Kyambadde disputed the list earlier approved by parliament, telling the Select Committee chaired by Kyankwanzi Woman MP Ann Maria Nankabirwa that they could not contradict the list on the floor of parliament.
Kyambadde presented a list of traders they think should be paid and those yet to be verified.
However, her list includes the ten companies that have so far been paid by the Finance Ministry.
Kyambadde revealed to the committee that the list submitted to Parliament by Finance Ministry was manipulated citing a number of companies that are not recognized by her ministry. Some of the companies she mentioned are Roko Construction Company, MFK Corporation Limited, Tamosi’s Farm and M/S Makpaco.
Select Committee Chairperson, Ann Maria Nankabirwa asked the Trade Ministry to submit the manipulated list of companies to the committee on Wednesday.
The Select Committee also learnt that payments of other claimants are still facing obstacles pending approval of the joint verification committee, composed of members from Uganda and South Sudan.
Kyambadde told the committee that they had planned to commence the second verification exercise before the end of April 2019 but government is yet to receive any communication from the Republic of South Sudan.
The Minister also said that they plan to talk to President Yoweri Museveni so that he discusses the matter with the South Sudan President Salva Kiir. Kyambadde said that they so far have 42 new Uganda-South Sudan claimants.