National, News

South Sudan expels unfit food

By William Madouk

South Sudan border authorities have maintained none compliance to entry of suspected toxic maize products from Uganda.

Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Standards, Ms. Mary Gordon said over 70 trucks of maize flour deemed unfit for human consumption will never enter the country.

The trucks were detained for long time at Nimule entry and released on Saturday.

According to NTV, the trucks headed to Elegu border on Saturday for further verification by representatives of the two countries in the presence of the East African Committee.

Ugandan processors, exporters, transporters, and Truck drivers had protested South Sudan’s intention to dump the goods estimated worthy over 10 billion shillings.

However, Ms. Mary rubbished the claims, saying; indeed, the consignments were released to Uganda but once and for all, not for further checks.

“The unfit trucks of maize were not released for Ugandans to check; they were returned back to Uganda forever. South Sudanese won’t consume them” she said.

The National Bureau of Standards’ Chief Executive Officer, who said she had just arrived from DR Cong, promised to give details on the maize and wheat flour, later.

Information obtained by this outlet indicated that SSNBS has taken 1,044 samples, of which 948 passed the test while 96 failed a test for contamination with aflatoxin.

A well-placed source at Nimule border told No. 1 Citizen Newspaper that based on the two different laboratory tests conducted; the consignment had tested positive for aflatoxin.

“So, the government decided to send a team, but due to budget delays, it failed” the source said.

The source intimated that Nimule border authorities wanted to offload the consignment, but lack of a warehouse hindered the plan.

“We don’t have such storerooms on the South Sudan side; they remained on the Uganda side,” the source said.
In a visit by a joint the parliamentary committee for finance and economic planning, decided that the consignment remained in Uganda until an independent lab finalized its results.

“We have done our confirmation testing, so we are not interested in conducting more tests because we are convinced that the results obtained are correct,” a source added.

Another suggestion was to employ an independent laboratory to conduct a further test, but Nimule authorities objected, considering such exercise would done in their absence.

“We agreed that they should find an independent lab and that both South Sudan and Uganda should be observers, but if they do test alone, then we are not part of it,” he continued.

According to the National Bureau of Standards Act, the standards body has the right to re-export any goods found to be unfit at the border back to the country of origin and could dump any goods that have already crossed into its territory.

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