Livestock traders complain of multiple illegal taxes along Kapoeta-Juba road

Some livestock traders in Kapoeta Municipal Council are complaining of what they call “heavy taxes” levied on them along the Kapoeta-Juba highway.

They say they are being extorted by various irregular checkpoints – mostly within Eastern Equatoria state. Some say they make losses transporting animals to sell in Juba.

“The checkpoints in Khor Machi, Camp 15 ,Hiyala, and Torit charge us a lot of money. When you ask them the reason for the taxes, they will delay the car until evening without any clear reason,” reported Aujenio Napem, a livestock trader in Kapoeta.

He said they are forced to pay between 50,000 to 60,000 South Sudanese Pound to pass through all the checkpoints and roadblocks. This is despite having the necessary documents to transport their animals to Juba.

“…even here just in Katiko of Kapoeta South, they ask for a lot of money and yet we have clearance documents from the government offices. You can expend at least 60,000 pounds before you reach another state (Central Equatoria). The government must remove some these checkpoints,” Napem stated.

Another trader of livestock, Lino Dapal said they are also faced with challenges of insecurity plying this route. He disclosed that they are charged 2,000 in Lowareng, 15,000 ssp in Camp 15, and 10,000 pounds in other locations  – regardless of the documents they posses.

“This is abnormal… I am urging the government to rescue us….all that money being taken from us have no documentation. They don’t give us receipts – except in Torit only.”

In response, the Mayor of Kapoeta Municipal Council, Lokuuda Elia Lonyia said they are looking into the matter with state authorities.

“These issues have been raised to the state government and with authorities in Budi. We are now giving feedback to livestock traders that we have communicate their concerns to the authorities for redress and we are looking forward these challengers will be addressed,” he announced.