South Sudan traders lose hope as Kasaija reveals government has no money
Ugandan traders who supplied goods to South Sudan will not receive payment any time soon, as the Minister for Finance Matia Kasaija says government does not have money.
Kassaija said this while appearing on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday.
Last year 900 Billion shillings was approved by Parliament for traders that supplied goods and services to the South Sudan government between 2008 and 2010. The traders made losses following the outbreak of the conflict in 2013.
Now, the payment follows a 2010 mutual agreement between South Sudan and Uganda that the latter would clear the debt and treat it as a loan to the government of South Sudan. The money was to be paid back within five to 10 years at a six per cent interest rate after the first year.
But, despite the appropriation of 78 billion shillings by Parliament, the Ministry of Finance has been hesitant to release the funds.
On Wednesday while appearing before the house to explain about the delay of this payment, Kasaija said Government did not have money to pay the traders because it had deferred several other payments due to lack of money in the COVID-10 crisis.
However, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga ruled that the government should pay the traders since Parliament's decisions have never been rescinded.