Ugandan bus companies that operate between Juba and Kampala are protesting what they call double taxation by South Sudanese authorities.
This includes Friendship Coach, HMK Coach, and Simba Coach.
The companies – which downed their tools on Sunday – say that, after paying levies at the Nimule border, authorities in Juba impose the same taxes on them upon arrival at Shirkat.
“They offload each and everything that come from Kampala and they charged a lot, yet even when buses reach here in the park, again they charge revenue,” said Ssali Abdu, the acting manager of the Friendship Coaches.
On other side, Hamza Sam who manages HMK coaches, said that the issue has been pressuring them for quite time.
“We are doing this peaceful demonstration or peaceful strike to make sure that at least the customers do not make any loses,” he said.
However, when contacted by Eye Radio, the deputy chairman of Ugandan community at Shirkat, Gumbo and Nesitu areas – Odongo Moses – said South Sudanese authorities charge more after discovering that some traders smuggle goods into the country:
“We sent a delegation to the scene and we found that reasons are as follows; officials at the custom checkpoints realized that some of these businessmen and women, when they are bringing their goods or items they are smuggling.”
But he added that both countries are addressing the matter in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.