​Transport, EAC ministries ‘defy’ parliament summon

​Transport, EAC ministries ‘defy’ parliament summon
ChangKuoth Bichiock Reth Committee of Finance and Economic Planning at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly. [Photo: Sheila Ponnie]

The Committee of Finance and Economic Planning at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly was forced to adjourn its sitting after two ministers failed to honour the summons by Parliament.

Auditor General, Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority, Minister for Trade, East African Community Affairs and that of Transport had been summoned to shed more light on the recent hike of cargo fees from Kenya to South Sudan.

Two key ministries – transport and East African Community Affairs failed to send a representative, forcing the committee to adjourn the sitting.

“We were unable to continue with the sitting because we believe the minister of transport should have been present. There are questions for him to answer,” Chang Kuoth Reth Committee told reporters.

The sitting was pushed to Tuesday, next week, at 10 am.

The above ministries and agencies received parliament summons following a protest by the South Sudanese business community over the recent hike of toll duties by neigbouring countries.

“We received complaints about the cargoes that are coming to South Sudan as a result of various charges that are occurring in Mombasa (Kenya)” explained Reth.

He added: “The cargoes were normally cleared in Mombasa and sent directly to Juba. But now they are being sent to Nairobi for clearance, where the clearance prices are high. We called the ministers to ask them why they made those changes.”

In addition, there is USD250 collected per cargo in Mombasa, which we believe has something to do with the market’s high prices for goods.

“So we called them because the market prices for goods are so high. We thought it might have something to do with those changes in Mombasa and the clearing issues, as well as the change of location from Mombasa to Nairobi and the additional charges” he explained.