Jubek Chamber of Commerce regrets collecting money from traders

The chamber of commerce in Jubek state says it regrets accepting to collect money for the national dialogue amidst extortion accusations.

On Wednesday, the national dialogue accused Jubek Chamber of Commerce of forcefully collecting money it asked the institution to do voluntarily.

But it was discovered that the Jubek Chamber of Commerce was collecting 1000 SSP forcefully from traders in Juba, including tomato and tea sellers.

The National Dialogue Committee also presented a copy of a receipt from a trader who was charged the amount.

In response to the allegations later after denial, the chamber admitted it categorized traders according to the amount they were supposed to pay, but had the choice to pay any amount.

“If the national dialogue did not call us to the freedom hall open, if the national chamber did not write a letter to Jubek and Jubek state did not write to us a letter and call for a meeting, and this has not come to the media, no one would have collected the money in this manner,” said Marcello Swaka, the chairperson of Juba Chamber of Commerce.

He said following the accusation by the national dialogue steering committee, some security officers monitoring the collection were arrested.

“The chairman of Jebel market was taken by the security in Konyonkonyo. Someone was taken the day before yesterday,” he said.

But, Mr Marcello said they were later released after he intervened and provided evidence there was no extortion in the process by the collecting officers.

He said no such a misunderstanding would have come about if the chamber was not approached to support the process.

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