Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde has renounced the list of Ugandan companies that were approved by Parliament to be compensated. The said companies supplied goods and services to
South Sudan before the 2013 civil war saw them lose property worth billions of shillings.
Parliament, through the Committee on National Economy, ordered that they are compensated in excess of about Shs150 billion. Only 10 of the listed 23 companies were compensated.
According to Kyambadde, most of the lined up companies were not on the original list that Ministry of Trade submitted to the minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija.
Last week, traders from companies that didn’t receive any money appeared before the Parliament select-committee on Ugandan traders with claims against the government of South Sudan and also pinned Kasaija for messing up everything regarding their compensation.
In their submission to the committee, they requested the members of the committee to ask minister Kasaija to hand over their issue to Kyambadde.
This forced the committee to summon Kyambadde to answer and verify the list of traders submitted by the Ministry of Finance to Parliament for approval.
However, when she appeared before the committee on Tuesday, the chairperson committee Anna Maria Nankabirwa accused her of sidelining some companies from the list.
“Honorable Minister we have received witnesses accusing you of sidelining real companies that suffered this havoc from the list of companies to be compensated. Do you have any say about these allegations?” asked Nankabirwa.
But Kyambadde denied the allegations, saying the genuine list is that which was compiled during the inter-ministerial committee verification processes.
“This committee had members from the minister of trade, finance and justice, so how would Ministry of Trade change the list?” Kyambadde asked.
When the list which Kyambadde claimed to be genuine was given to her to verify, she was overwhelmed with the names of the companies which they never discussed during the inter-ministerial verification processes.
“This list must have been manipulated by other players. This a purely forged list because we don’t know how Roko, MFK and Makpacho come on this list since they were not on any of our list. Finance Ministry must come out and give you answers because I don’t know it and I renounce it,” said Kyambadde.
Following her denial, Nankabirwa asked her to present the detailed report on the list of the companies that were presented before the Parliament. Unfortunately, she had not moved with them and she asked for a day to bring it.
Kyambadde is the third party to accuse Ministry of Finance of incompetence before the committee, after Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko who accused them of selective treatment and unfairness. The second was the group of members of the 23 companies who accused the minister of insulting them.
“We are tired of the Ministry of Finance. Whenever we go, insults only, they even close the doors, they don’t want to hear anything from us,” said Geoffrey Okwir of Gunya Company last week.
The hearing is still on and according to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, the committee has only 45 days to conduct this probe and report back to the Parliament.