Ministry of Finance starts fresh verification of Ugandan traders
Ministry of Finance to conduct fresh verification on Ugandan Traders awaiting compensation

Ministry of Finance: Fresh verification exercise to be conducted on the list of Ugandan traders awaiting compensation following South Sudan war.

The Ministry of Finance resolved to conduct fresh verification exercise on Ugandan traders waiting for compensation after losing their good worth billions of shillings following South Sudan war.

Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Keith Muhakanizi, said there are not sure of the number of traders who supplied goods to South Sudanese and how many they are dealing with at a moment. To him, that’s the reason behind the verification exercise.

These traders many of them lost their entire capital, and have since struggled in trying to re-establish their businesses once again.

In 2019, Uganda and South Sudan government signed a Memorandum of understanding under which Uganda agreed to compensate its traders and thereafter South Sudan government pays Uganda government.

Muhakanizi says they need more time to do a verification exercise on the submitted list such that they find out who is entitled to this compensation plan and who is not.

“Before I pay to satisfy myself that I am paying properly, not anybody else but under the law. Now people are telling me that the committee of parliament verified that’s not their duty, it’s my duty. Thank you! Bring those documents which were verified such that I verify them before I pay,” Muhakanizi said.

However, he assured traders that verified ones will receive payments. Mahakanizi says it may take time but they will surely be paid off.

“I will pay and implement government policy of paying the South Sudan people,” Muhakanizi said.

Everest Kayondo, the chairman of Kampala City Traders Association Uganda, commenting on Mahakanizi’s statement said it’s a plot by the government to frustrate these traders.

“I am now losing hope given the fact that this has overstayed, it has been around for the last six years and even after moving the list one has to go back and verify the submitted list again,” Kayondo said.

In the recent list released by the Ministry of Finance, only 32 companies and individuals awaiting compensation were listed.

Relatedly, Muhakanizi released the first quarterly funds for the financial year 2019/2020 budget.

“A total of 5.7 billion has been released for quarter work expenditure. This represents 28.7 per cent of the approved budget,” Muhakanizi said.

Muakanizi says the economy is projected to grant 6.3 per cent this financial year, centred on Agriculture, Financing of the Private Sector, Industrialisation and productivity enhancement.