Government is in the process of finalizing an agreement with South Sudan after which it will pay traders who lost money when war broke out in the country.
Under the terms of the agreement, the government of Uganda will pay USD41.6million (Shs150billion) to Uganda traders who suffered losses after the outbreak of war in South Sudan.
GoU will pay the traders on the understanding that it will recover the money from the government of South Sudan. The agreement, according to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija was reached in 2016 but Parliament of Uganda has never approved a motion requiring the government of Uganda to implement the bilateral agreement.
The payment of the traders was also hampered by disagreements amongst the traders with a section of traders petitioning Parliament that the agreement was leaving out hundreds of genuine traders and instead rewarding impostors.
A group of 15 traders led by John Bosco Byamugisha, JB Omara Abdullah Besisira and Joseph Kasujja made noise and petitioned MPs alleging the trader verification process had been unfair and left out genuine traders.
Kasaija said the ministry wants to pay off the traders in an effort to help stimulate the business environment which has been downcast since the war in South Sudan broke out.
Ugandan businessmen were making brisk business in South Sudan but when the war broke out, many lost almost all their investments because they couldn’t repatriate anything. Many traders were trapped and only returned to Uganda in convoys guarded by UPDF soldiers. Almost all abandoned their merchandise in South Sudan.