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Hope looms as govt starts verification of Ugandan South Sudan traders’ claims

Finance minister Matia Kasaija (R) and Keith Muhakanizi (C) the permanent secretary to finance Ministry. The Ministry has requested Ugandan South Sudan traders to submit documentation relevant to their claims. (PHOTOS/File)

KAMPALA – The Ministry of Finance has contracted a local firm Earnest and Young to carry out an independent verification of claims of Ugandan South Sudan traders who supplied various goods to the South Sudanese government within the 2008 – 2013 period.

Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury, has directed all Uganda traders who supplied various goods to South Sudan within the stipulated period to submit all the relevant documentation in support to their claims.

He said the documentation should be submitted to the Commissioner, Public Administration Department, Budget Directorate, Ministry of Finance on Six Floor, room No 6.4 Finance Building, Plot 2-12, Sir Apollo Kaggwa, road.
He also noted that even the Ugandan traders who were operating in South Sudan that recently received part payment of the claims from the government of Uganda should also submit relevant documentation in support of the payment and all the other documentation that is relevant to their claims.

Mr. Muhakanizi noted that the required documents should include the following at a minimum:
The contracts with the South Sudan government, certificate of registration/TIN, export declaration or bills of entry issued by URA and tax returns.

Others include, goods release orders issued by URA, certificate of export, purchase order from South Sudan government, invoices, packing lists, demand notes from the Juba Administration, goods received notes, evidence for source of financing among others.

The documentation, he said should be submitted not later than July 26 and that those earlier submitted any documentation regarding their claims should resubmit.

In May this year, Minister of State for Finance, David Bahati, said that the private traders who did not directly supply the South Sudan government will not receive any compensation.

Mr. David Bahati, the Minister of State for finance, planning and economic
development (planning). (PHOTO/File)

“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.” Hon Mawanda revealed.

The Chairperson of the select committee, Ms. Anne Marie Nankabirwa, said all the traders would be paid and a verification committee had been set up by both governments.

Ann Maria Nankabirwa presenting a list of traders to South Sudan’s Minister of Finance and Planning, Salvatore Garang. (PHOTO/File)

“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.

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