Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Home News Grain Dealers Want S.Sudan To Release Intercepted Cargo

Grain Dealers Want S.Sudan To Release Intercepted Cargo

by Wangah Wanyama
0 comment

By Jeff Andrew Lule

Uganda grain millers and transporters owners have threatened to drag the two governments Uganda and South Sudan to the East African Court of Justice if their maize flour is destroyed on grounds of being contaminated by aflatoxins.

The impacted grain dealers and truck drivers told reporters on Monday (June 22, 2023) at the Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Kampala that the Ugandan government must co-operate with its South Sudanese counterparts to ensure the unconditional release of their goods.

Jacob Kabondo, the national co-ordinator for the Uganda Grain Council, observed that processors only purchase maize that has previously found success in the market.

“So, if the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards (SSNBS) claim that our maize flour is contaminated with aflatoxin, then who is to blame apart from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) which allows it on the market,” he said.

He added that millers/processors are in no position to contaminate the corn with aflatoxins.

They threatened legal action against the Ugandan government for permitting infected corn to be sold on the market if SSBS went ahead and burnt the detained maize flour.

In addition, They also threatened to file a lawsuit against the South Sudanese government in the East African Court of Justice for violating the East African Common Market Protocol, which calls for the reciprocal recognition of goods that meet agreed-upon standards.

“We use East African standards which apply within the region and those of us who have been affected, our products are certified by UNBS under the East Africa standards. So, if they go ahead and burn it, we shall drag both governments to the regional court,” he added.

They gave South Sudan an ultimatum of four days in which to release their cargo.

“If our cargo is released, we are going to seize any kind of foodstuff from going to South Sudan. We are going to moblise all fellow traders in the industry and it will be achieved,” he added.

He stressed that since their cargo was detained, it has affected their operations and lost money.

“It is now over one month, and we had to service our bank loans. That is why we request our trucks to be released,” he added.

On May 15, SSNBS impounded 74 trucks with Ugandan licensed plates that were carrying mainly maize flour and various grains in a remote parking lot seven kilometres into South Sudan from Nimule.

The trucks were loaded with maize grain, maize flour and wheat on allegations of failing to pass the test for contamination with aflatoxin.

Richard Sserwadda, the chairperson of the National Millers Association, said the cargo is worth over shillings eight billion.

“We just want the SSNBS to allow UNBS to do confirmatory tests. If it is truly contaminated, we can bring it back and we use it for other things. We cannot allow ourselves to lose all that money unless the Government is going to refund it because we borrowed this money from various banks,” he added.

Up to now, the millers and traders question why the SSNBS blocked UNBS from taking samples to do confirmatory tests, because it is the same maize flour exported to other countries which are not complaining, yet they have more advanced laboratories.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Download Vision Group Experience App

Follow Us

All Rights Reserved © Harvest Money 2023