Parliament halts handling of Ministry of Finance business over the payment of South Sudan Traders
The Speaker has ruled that Parliament Will not handle all business on the Order paper from Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development until the issue of payment of Uganda-South Sudan traders is disposed of.
In a Plenary Sitting on Thursday, 17th September 2020 the Speaker wondered why the Cabinet Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija, had deliberately avoided coming to Parliament to address the matter.
“We shall not handle any business on the Order paper from the Ministry of Finance until the issue of payment of Uganda-South Sudan traders is disposed of.” Said Kadaga.
The Minister of Finance in June 1st 2020, presented a statement on the measures put in place to address the matter. In the statement, Kasaija informed Parliament that government was facing financial constraints and it was fair for Parliament to consider that fact in its decisions.
Kasaija further noted that given the circumstances then, it was not possible to pay the South Sudan Traders in one tranche. He said that the government was willing and open to pay the traders their monies fully, though in a phased manner.
Despite the assurance from the Minister, the Speaker directed that the Minister comes up with a concrete plan on how to pay the traders. This was informed by the fact that the majority of the MPs then were not convinced by the statement by the Minister.
Kadaga observed that it was unfair to see the Minister of Finance continues to avoid the matter yet the traders continue to suffer. She called upon the Finance Minister to appear before the August House and present a statement on the same.
“The item of payment of Uganda-South Sudan traders has appeared of the Order Paper for close to two months now. Until the Minister for Finance comes to Parliament to guide on the way forward, we shall not handle all business on the Order paper from the Ministry of Finance.” She added.