Ugandan business men formerly trading in South Sudan have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament on the loss of business and finances due to the impounded merchandise in the country.
The petitioners said that their trucks loaded with maize were impounded in South Sudan in 2011, and all efforts to have them returned have been unsuccessful.
“In 2011, the government of South Sudan ordered for maize and our company sent four trailers with the maize. The trailers were impounded by government of South Sudan and were parked at Akon Police post but later disappeared,” said Jaffer Ssenfuka of Bageye Investments Limited.
He said that they had contacted the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Uganda Revenue Authority, and Ugandan Embassy in South Sudan but had not got their trucks.
The traders also wondered why a Parliament resolution to compensate traders, who had lost business in South Sudan had only targeted a few companies leaving out the small ones.
The Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said she would forward the petition to the newly created Select Committee to determine the criteria used to compensate traders that lost business in South Sudan.
In another development, Rweshema fishing community in Rukungiri has petitioned Parliament over being blocked from fishing on Lake Edward by the Fisheries Protection Unit.
Presenting the petition before Parliament, Hon. Betty Bamukwatsa (FDC, Rukungiri) said that the fishing community were licensed to operate on the lake in 2001 by the Fisheries Department and had been following the right procedures.
“They have been paying all government dues, constructed proper fishing boats and using the right fishing gear as per the standards set; it is shocking that they are being barred from fishing,” she said.
Bamukwatsa added that the fishing protection unit arrested some members of the community in December 2017 and confiscated their fishing boats and gear.
“The fishing protection unit went ahead to introduce new operators on the lake denying the local community a chance to fish,” she said.
She further added that the community had sought help from the various authorities including the Ministry of Agriculture in vain therefore seeking the help of Parliament.
“The community wants the Parliament to intervene and ask the Ministry of State for Fisheries to stop any interference of license operators on the lake to fish by the fishing protection unit,” Bamukwatsa said.