KAMPALA – The Minister of State for Finance, David Bahati, has said that only the companies that dealt with the South Sudan government will be paid since they are the ones authenticated by the government.
Mr. Bahati made the remarks during a sitting of Parliament chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, on Thursday, May 23 also the house approved the 2019/2020 national budget.
He said that the private traders who did not directly supply the South Sudan government will not receive any compensation.
“The Government of South Sudan has agreed to pay the companies that dealt with its ministries, departments and agencies. The other companies that dealt privately are hard to compensate since verification will be hard,” Mr. Bahati said.
His submission however backlashed as legislators were not convinced that only those who supplied the government ought to be paid because all traders both big and small companies supplied goods to South Sudan.
Hon. Michael Mawanda the Igara County East, said that the original list had been altered and various companies left out.
“I agree with the report but I would like to point out an anomaly,” he noted adding that “Some companies that were on the original list were omitted. The Nile Valley Investment Construction Company, for example, was left out.”
He added: “I would like to amend the list so they are paid.”
Nandala Mafabi, the Budadiri West MP said since the firms are international business companies, they should have insured their businesses and insurance paid for their loss.
“The list has only big companies that can afford to pay insurance for their companies. The government should not pay where businesses were insured. People lost property but the ones on the list are just plotting to steal from the government,” he said.
The Chairperson of the select committee, Hon. Anne Marie Nankabirwa, said all the traders would be paid and a verification committee had been set up by both governments.
“All those traders who supplied the government and its agencies and also the small traders will be verified and cleared. Governments on both side have formed a verification team and once the traders are verified they will be paid,” she said.
The Deputy Speaker, Oulanyah, said that South Sudan traders with some form of documentation should also be considered for payment, in the next phase.
“Some of those (traders) with little or no documents should also be considered and recommended by the committee for payment. This process is not ending soon, so companies that supplied to South Sudan or its agencies should submit their documents,” Mr. Oulanyah said.