Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) on Sunday voiced their concern that an additional number of ghost companies has fraudulently been included on the list of those who claim to have lost out on the compensation of traders who supplied goods to South Sudan before the war broke out.
“Uganda Government entered a bilateral agreement with South Sudan Government to pay Ugandan traders; who supplied goods and services to South Sudan and that South Sudan would refund government of Uganda within a period of 5 to 10 years from the date of agreement”, reads part of the statement from CSBAG .
Julius Mukunda, CSBAG’s executive director, expressed worry that a number of fraudulent individuals are conniving with MPs to create another list of claimants with the intent of fleecing government of public funds.
He said there is a lot of bickering going on in Parliament as to who is the right claimant and who is not.
“This is taxpayers money and we cannot just sit back to see people wanting to create ghost companies to steal government money”, he said.
He called for an independent audit firm to be brought in to scrutinise all the claimants.
“Parliament has passed several resolutions endorsing payments of the companies and traders whose claims have been submitted to government. However, the proposal to have an independent audit firm to verify the claims is meeting strong resistance”, he added.
Siraji Magara, CSBAG Budget Policy specialist expressed fears that; South Sudan Government is likely not to pay the Uganda Government the said money, if ghost traders appear on the claim list.
“CSOs are concerned whether government has mechanisms of recovering these funds should South Sudan fail to fulfil the commitments to this agreement,” he said.