Government will pay out US$41m (Shs 147b) to Ugandan traders who supplied maize grain to South Sudan, the Minister of State for Finance, Hon. David Bahati has said.
Minister Bahati told Parliament sitting on Thursday 17 November, 2016 that the government of South Sudan will refund the same to the government of Uganda.
“These payments will be subject to approval of the Parliament of Uganda. This will be a loan to the government of South Sudan,” said Hon. Bahati.
The Minister’s Statement followed a concern raised by Erute North MP, Hon. Charles Angiro (FDC), who inquired as to whether government will help out Ugandan traders, who supplied maize grain to South Sudan but remained unpaid. The MP also said that although a few of the traders had been paid, the rest, who acquired bank loans had lost their property because they failed to pay back after the failure by the South Sudan government to pay for the maize supplied since 2008 todate.
The Minister said that the governments of Uganda and South Sudan entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in 2010, for the latter to pay US$56m to Ugandan traders, but it only managed to pay US$15m in December 2010.
“The government of South Sudan was unable to fulfill all other claims as agreed,” said Bahati.
He also said that since then, new claimants came up, which claims will be verified by the first quarter of 2017. He explained that the new claimants would be verified by a joint team of the two governments before modalities are agreed upon for their settlement.
“All payments shall be based on verifiable documents that shall be furnished to the government of South Sudan,” Bahati said.