Are South Sudan’s legislators representing the citizens or themselves?
Are South Sudan’s legislators speaking for the people or for themselves? Insecurity is at an all-time high, yet they are debating pay raises for themselves.
In its regular session today, the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislature enacted the Emolument and Privileges of Members of the Transitional National Legislature Bill 2022.
The Bill aims to enhance MPs’ lifestyles by boosting their wages, providing transportation, housing, and medical benefits.
Speaking to reporters following Bill’s approval, the Chairperson of the Committee on Information, Technology, and Postal Services, John Agany Deng, said that the Bill will allow Members of Parliament to live a better life.
Many South Sudanese are skeptical of the parliamentarians’ decision, citing the fact that the MPs are ineffective in their oversight roles and in acting as a check and balance for the other branch of government.
The government’s judicial branch is already paralyzed. Many individuals see the MPs as a voice for the many voiceless South Sudanese, yet they are not.
Many people felt that MPs had no teeth and couldn’t make a difference in the country’s political landscape since they were all hand-picked and some didn’t even know what district they represented.
The rise in insurgency and the country’s security issues should have been prioritized in their meetings.
Consider the recent tragedy in Baidit Payam, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 32 individuals. On Sunday, armed men attacked Bor County in Jonglei state, injuring 17 people and torching many buildings, according to local authorities. Parliamentarians are expected to call the governors as well as the country’s security services for interrogation and inquiry into what really occurred.
Consider the assistance left behind by flood victims that were never found. The MPs summoned two ministers, but nothing concrete or substantial has been done thus far. The ministers have yet to return to the house for a thorough examination of the issue.
All of this is causing alarm among South Sudanese, and many have taken to social media to encourage MPs to address the country’s underlying issues first.
The nation is on a downward spiral to the point that employment, food, clean drinking water, and survival are top priorities for many of our citizens, particularly the poor, yet our legislators prioritize improving their life.
With the passage of the bill, Parliament will be able to live a better life while the civilians in their constituencies go hungry, lack clean water, a good school, and health care.
Now that I think about it, why would MPs raise their own wages before passing the fiscal financial budget? How did they find out there was money in the government’s treasury?
However, the deputy minister of Finance and Planning recently addressed the problem, advising members of the transitional assembly to keep the people in mind and government workers in mind as they explore increasing their perks.
According to Agok Makur Kur, government employees are paid poorly and are often not paid on time.
Minister Kur made the remarks as the Transitional National Legislature passed the Emoluments and Privileges Bill yesterday, raising the monthly remuneration of Members of Parliament from 9,400 (nine thousand four hundred) SSP to 800,000 (eight hundred thousand) SSP, with the exception of constitution post holders, who receive additional benefits.
Despite the ministry’s financial difficulties, Agok Makur Kur promised legislators that the funds would be paid.