Juba mayor blamed for ‘reckless’ demolition exercise

Juba mayor blamed for ‘reckless’ demolition exercise
Robert Pitia Francis, Chairperson of CES Chamber of Commerce (L) and Stephen Wani, the Chairperson of Juba City Chamber of Commerce (photo credit: Alex Bullen/The City Review)

The Central Equatoria State Chamber of Commerce and Juba City Chamber of Commerce have blamed the Juba City Council for destabilizing businesses after embarking on what they called an improperly planned demolition exercise to reorganize the city.

The chambers described Mayor Kalisto Lado’s demolition exercise as a ‘man-made disaster’ stemming from unplanned operation adding that it has created a critical situation for vulnerable businesses in the county.

The Chairperson of CES Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Robert Pitia Francis said many business holders were left disenfranchised after their shops were demolished.

He said the Chamber of Commerce is not against the demolition or the reorganization of the markets but it should be conducted in a proper manner. 

Francis said the authorities of the Juba City Council would have approached the Chambers of Commerce before starting their operations for a better way forward.

“What has happened to our traders is something we never expected to happen, we wish it could be done in a coordinated manner between Chambers of Commerce and the Juba City authority,” he stressed.

“As a government, when planning for something, you will always have a solution for it but what is going on now [has] just created a problem which has no solution and it is something dangerous to our struggling country,” he added.

He said the notification that Mr. Lado gave to traders was not enough adding it should have been done in a written letter to allow the traders to get new places.

“First of all, those people are your people who have responsibilities. As a government you need to consider [that] because one of the roles of the government is to protect its people,’’ he commented. 

“These traders are the people who are contributing towards the economy of the country, they are paying taxes to the government, they are creating jobs for South Sudanese, and they are also playing the role of stabilizing the security of the country,” Pitia added.


He warned that if there are no urgent solutions to relocate the affected traders, then there may be high chances of an increase in prices of commodities.

“These small businesses are the back born of the country’s economy, because they are offering available services to citizens of this country, so they deserve every right and respect from the government and everyone in the country.”

He added that “The government is there to make people happy [and] not to create problems on problems’’.

He went on to say “you cannot create problems on people without giving a solution and you call yourself a government. That totally changes the definition of the word government”.

Stephen Wani, the chairperson of the Juba City Chamber of Commerce, revealed that there were over 70 shops destroyed by the ongoing Juba City Council’s operations.

He said there was an urgent need to provide a quick solution to the created crisis as he called on the authority to provide space to the affected traders.

“There is a need for the quick solution to the affected traders, we need our traders and the vendors to be accommodated,” Mr. Wani stated.  

He added that: “the only solution is that we need both state and national governments to intervene in the case.”

Two weeks back, Juba City Council headed by Juba City Mayor, Kalisto Lado, launched the demolition in Juba Town in the name of the reorganization of the town.

Since then a lot of shops got destroyed and many traders were left counting losses.