South Sudan Speaker responds to civil servants’ agitation over the bill that grants lawmakers a hefty monthly salary of SSP 800,000.
Nunu Kumba, in an exclusive interview with Eye Radio, suggested that it was critical to recognize that the parliament was not a service provider, but rather a legislator and monitor of law execution.
Nunu Kumba, the Speaker of the Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA), stated that the parliament cared about civil servants, just days after the August House passed a contentious emolument and privileges bill that grants each lawmaker a whopping SSP 800,000 monthly salary, among other benefits.
“The parliament passed a bill of their rights instead of looking at other bills, they take the bill that is concerning them, we are really facing problems,” said Brigadier General James Dak Karlo, Deputy Police Spokesman, recently at the opening of a symposium on women’s access to health held under the theme, “Zero Discrimination, Challenging All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”
Some public workers were outraged by the bill, accusing national politicians of putting their profits above another burning issue of national significance.
“Members of Parliament care about the people, and they have distinct tasks.” First and foremost, our people must realize that the parliament is not a service provider; rather, we are legislators. We write laws and approve policies of line ministries that offer services, therefore we will only fail if we do not make such laws,” Nunu said.
She noted that the national parliament is one of the three pillars of the government and that they are meant to be somewhat independent from the executive, reiterating that the emolument act has been reviewed, which has taken some time due to issues that everyone is aware of.
Nunu revealed that the cabinet had already discussed issues of inflation that were not aligned with the current service structure of civil servants and that the public service had also come up with several options from which the cabinet could choose one, and one of the options was actually selected and approved, but the problem was that there were insufficient resources to cover these new salary structures.
She also said that the executives are expected to investigate the matter and that it would be brought in parliament shortly if it is required to be included in the budget.
She requested that the Ministry of Finance guarantee that there are sufficient resources to pay the wage structure since it is one thing to enact legislation and quite another to put it into effect.