Listen to the voice of Parliament and prepare for disasters

Listen to the voice of Parliament and prepare for disasters

Last week, the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) announced that it was planning to summon the ministers under the Economic Clusters to come to the floor of the House and explain their hunger mitigation measures.

On Friday, Oliver Moris, the Spokesperson of the Parliament called the media and restated that although the House was not planning to summon the Vice President of Economic Cluster, Dr James Wani Igga, there are plans to grill the ministers over the issue.

“A resolution was passed that the economic cluster ministers have to be summoned to come to the house to explain the reasons [that cause] hunger in South Sudan,” he stated.

“The economic cluster comprises 11 ministries which are the following: the Ministry of Planning, Petroleum, Agriculture and Food Security, Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Environment, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Land, Housing and Urban Development, Wildlife Conservation and Tourism and then the ministry and investment,” he further explained.

Moris lashed out at the media for reporting that the House had summoned the VP to appear before it as he explained that Igga was protected against such summonses by the 2018 Revitalised Peace Agreement.

The idea of summoning the ministers under this cluster came up after a member of parliament from Mayom County lifted the lid over impending food insecurity in the area. The lawmakers took this seriously and acted on time.

But even as they try to play their legislative roles, it is the silence from the executive that normally rings the bell the loudest.

We can remember how the Speaker of NTLA, Jemma Nunu Kumba, told the ministers who failed to show up for grilling to prepare for the same. And, to date, no one knows whether these ministers will be able to honour the summonses and explain their plans.

The government already got a tip-off through the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation about the possible re-occurrence of floods likely to take a swathe in many states.

The voice of the lawmakers should be able to wake up the line ministries so that they can act in the interest of the citizens and prepare for these disasters.