Politician urges contracted companies to sue Gov’t over arrears

Hon. Ajiek Taban, a politician and the Chairperson of the African Independent party (Photo: Philip Buda Ladu)

By Philip Buda Ladu

A politician and the leader of the African Independent Party (AIP) is urging domestic and international companies and traders having grudges with the government over unpaid arrears of goods and services delivered to them to sue the government in court to claim their rights of payments.

Hon. Ajiek Taban, is a politician and the Chairperson of the African Independent Party (AIP) that is yet to be fully registered under the new passed Political Parties Act Amendment Bill 2022.

Taban, in an exclusive interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper advocated for the rights of dozens of both domestic and international companies and businessmen who have been calling on the government of national unity demanding payment of their money for goods and services the government had earlier contracted them to render.

He echoed that the government must pay the struggling companies that were contracted by the government and supplied goods and services to the government entities.

The politician said the office of President Salva Kiir and the office of the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar are among those government institutions that contracted the private companies to supply goods and services and up to date they haven’t paid the money.

Taban argued that this issue of not paying the companies that have done contracts of the government is also contributing to the downfall of the South Sudan economy as businesses are deteriorating and closing down.

“All the government institutions including the Presidency offices they have never paid the companies, you see the big issue here, the contradictions. So this one, if they go to the East African Court they can be given their rights. Even if they go to our local courts they will be given their rights”. Taban persuaded the traders and companies to seek legal settlement of their matter.

“I ask the companies to go to our court and open the case before the elections and see whether they can be paid or not because it is their rights. Their children are suffering they have never gone to school, their houses others are renting maybe, and they cannot be able to afford their social and basic needs because they depend on money as businessmen and traders” Taban exclaimed.

The AIP Chairperson cited an example of one of the companies that he claimed he advised them to pursue court redress in order to claim their pay and they did succeed; saying one of the companies he had advised to open a case against the government has succeeded now.

“One of the companies from Warrap was contracted by the Warrap State Government and it has never been paid for ten years, now I advised them to go to the court, and the court has given them their rights, and they were paid by the State Government so all the companies can go to the court and see whether the government will give them their rights, if the gov’t failed to pay them as quick as possible” he advised.

Taban underlined that most of the businessmen, their companies are no longer working simply because they have been contracted by the Government, they have done the work and the government never paid them, others are not paid for 10 years, others for 7 and 5 years respectively.

He hinted that most of the companies and businessmen in South Sudan are not yet paid. Saying the government must prioritize paying the businessmen or they fail in the next coming elections in 2023.

“These businessmen they are either in the form of wholesalers and retailers and these retailers and traders they are much closer people to the consumers, the consumers are the citizens and they have business relationship in the markets and they are very close to the citizens. If they come up in a group and tell the citizens that this current government don’t elect them in the next coming elections, the citizens will listen to businessmen compared to the government politicians because they are the people giving them goods” Taban justified.

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