Central Equatoria State, News

Chamber of Commerce to investigate Custom market misconducts

By Gladys Fred Kole


National Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture has formed a committee to investigate the customs market and city chamber office over corruption.

No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper has learnt that the investigation committee was formed at an executive meeting on October 16th, 2023, to resolve a crisis in the system.

The Executive Board chairperson, Lado Lukak Losidik and his first deputy, Mr. John Lual Akol convened the meeting.

In a statement seen by this outlet, the executive board ruled in the meeting that alleged cases of malpractice were responsible for chaos at the customs market office.

The board then resolved to form a committee to investigate the saga.

“The deliberations on these issues were conducted with frankness, openness, and objectivity with the view to promoting a peaceful resolution of the crisis and addressing the issues raised,” the first deputy board Chairpersons said.

However, Chairperson of the Chamber of Commerce at Custom Market, Martin Juma Lojong, on Monday alluded to journalist, anecdotes of the crisis at the office.

In his narrative, Lojong accused two of his staff of intrigue inside the customs market against his leadership.

He accused one of the Chamber of Commerce executive board members at Custom Market, Tong Gai, of being dishonest at work.

Lojong said that Tong conspired with another member, Paul Tombe Gai, who served as a revenue collector, to take over the office.

Lojong, then shared his fear with Juba City Council Chamber of Commerce chairperson, Stephen who called a meeting, where Mr. Tong was guilty, and fired from the executive board.

“Because of his disloyalty, he also made mobilization with some people that he had brought to the office; they made allegations against me, but when they reached here at the Juba City Council Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture and investigations were done, they found that the allegations he propagated against me, were not true,” Lojong narrated.

But before the verdict, Mr. Paul Tombe Gai while serving as a revenue collector had created parallel receipts to extort money from traders.

“We noticed some errors; every time he could register a trader, the receipt he could issue out to the traders could read 6,000 SSP, and the money that officially reached us in the market turned out to be 2,000 SSP,” Lojong explained.

On noticing the discrepancy, the management asked Tombe Gai but responded that it was a mistake, which eventually earned him suspension from duty.

“I suspended him, but he still continued with the same behavior. I called for a meeting in my office, and we came up with a resolution to transfer him to a new location,” he continued.

According to Lojong, despite the suspension, Tombe resisted leaving duty due to fears that whoever replaced him would uncover the dirty games he played in the market.

“That is when he got scared and conspired with Mr. Tong to oust me,” Lojong asserted.

The duo expedited the spree and takeover bid against their chairperson.

“They started mobilizing the market, registering areas, and the people that they registered call themselves the G15,” Lojong revealed.

He said, “even if you invite them to a meeting and ask them to come with permits, they never appear.”

Meanwhile, the national executive committee has taken up probing the saga and resolved to reopen the Central Equatorial office.

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