The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has summoned the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija to come and explain to the House why government has failed to pay Ugandan traders who lost their businesses in South Sudan yet the money was approved.
In 2019, parliament approved the payment of Shs947 billion to 82 Ugandan companies that supplied goods and services in South Sudan.
The traders supplied goods and services to the South Sudan government between 2008 and 2010 but were not paid due to the outbreak of conflict in December 2013.
On the day of approval, the Chairperson of the committee which was selected to deal with the issue, Anne Marie Nankabirwa confirmed to the House that 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 sides have formed a verification team and once the traders are verified they will be paid,” she said.
However, Kadaga was overwhelmed when reports came out that some traders have never been paid yet their money was approved in May last year. Through her social media platforms,she said “As I communicated at the end of the Budget Speech, this Session of Parliament will have a lot of disruptions.
“I would also want the Minister of Finance to explain to us the reasons why payment to Ugandan traders in South Sudan has not been handled yet money was appropriated by the House. The financial year is ending and if these traders are not paid, the money will be returned to the consolidated fund. Parliament did its work, our committee investigated, reported and appropriated. The House should not work in vain,” she said.
Kasaija’s summon comes at a time when Members of Parliaments want to impeach him out of office for doctoring figures in the recent national Budget 2020/21 which was read last week.
“I do not think it is sufficient for him to just come here and explain, let him face the Rules Committee because this is a constitutional matter; it is a serious matter of national importance,” said Patrick Oshabe MP Kassanda North.
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