Home | News    Thursday 29 March 2012

Over 150 livestock dealers arrested in Rumbek for illegal price hike

March 28, 2012 (RUMBEK) - Authorities in Rumbek, the capital of Lakes state, have arrested 168 livestock dealers, following an order from town mayor Mabor Chawuop Mabor.

South Sudan’s secrete security services agent by seizing all cows dealers, butchers, chicken dealers and all goats dealer into Rumbek central police prison because they had increased prices without approval, Mabor said.

Mabaor said that 103 cattle dealers, 48 goat dealers and 17 butchers had been arrested for "raising market prices without formal approval from neither town council nor state government concern”.

The arrest brought mixed reactions upon state government and business community.

Traders complain that commodities are being imported from East Africa and West Africa causing increases in prices. Inflation in South Sudan has been high since South Sudan’s independence in July 2011 and the price of a dollar has also inreased.

However, Mabor said that the government had done its best to offer dollars to all trade unions in Rumbek with low rates from the Kenyan Commercial Bank in order for them to purchase goods from abroad.

The town mayor said that some traders are taking advanced of the dollars provided and not sharing it with their colleagues.

Prices of food stuffs in Rumbek are high; 50kg of maize flour costs 70 SSP ($26); a soft drink has recently increased from 3 SSP to 4 SSP; one kilo of Sugar costs 6 SSP. Soft drink and alcoholic drink have increased to 60% high rate according to Rumbek’s commerce officer.

Last week, Rumbek Central County Commissioner Matur Majok Magol, issued a local order to reduce water prices to 1SSP per bottle but the water production responded by company halting production, which made the government back down.

A bottle of water currently costs 2SSP. Despite the water being bottled in Rumbek, the company’s managers say that high fuel prices are to blame for high prices. One litter of fuel is sold for 7.5 SSP.

The town Mayor issued order canceling the order of county commissioner, saying that the company needed to reopen and keep producing water for their usual price of 2SSP until fuel prices decrease.

Mapuor Maling, a resident in Makuriric called into state government radio FM-98 and he asked the town mayor during a live talk show asking him whether the entire community of Lakes state could avoid drinking bottle water due to high prices. He also questioned state authority for always imposing decisions only to withdraw them when they see the public reaction.

The town mayor declined to answer but said that the government is trying to confront all forms of corruption.