MP blasts Parliament for releasing lawmakers without money

MP blasts Parliament for releasing lawmakers without money

A lawmaker in the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly has criticised the parliament for sending the MPs to recess without funding.

On Monday, House Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba sent lawmakers home empty-handed, claiming that the finance ministry had yet to calculate their leave packages, which included their December salaries.

The move drew outbursts from lawmakers like Juma Zachariah Deng— a representative of Jur River County in Western Bar El Ghaza State—who lashed out at the leadership for sleeping on the job, adding that the institution cannot be run on hopes and promises.

 “We know that as a procedure in parliaments around the world when the MPs are going on recess, something should take place before announcing the recess,” he said in reference to the allocation of funds.

“But the leadership in the parliament announced the recess, and we did not get the recess money,” he further lamented.

Deng urged the parliament’s leadership to prepare a package for lawmakers in order to break the cycle of serving hopes to members.

“There should be a program, and the leadership should be aware that the MPs are going for recess, and they should prepare what the MPs want so that they will go for recess.”

Deng, a member of the parliamentary committee on petroleum, stated that South Sudan generates a sizeable amount of revenue from crude oil that, in his opinion, can finance a variety of development projects that the community wants from the government.

He added that the non-governmental organisations built the majority of the country’s infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, roads, and bridges, adding the government needs to do more.

He said in Jur River County, the community had built a police station with its own resources and with the support of the local MPs.

“All these programmes are being done by organisations like UNMISS that we know even have the money for CDF in my area, but they just built one school.”

“Now the police station in my area is almost completed, but if we get the money for recess, we will complete the police station,” he said. “That is why I was saying that the government in all states doesn’t have programmes like building schools, hospitals, or even roads,” Deng said.

The politician argued that it is hard for them to visit their constituents during the recess without money.

“It is like the leadership in the parliament is embarrassing the MPs. “They are looking at us like we are nothing,” Deng expressed.

However, some MPs, like Nelson Uthou Ungang, who represents Lafon County in Eastern Equatoria State, said he would be happy to return to his village after a 10-year absence, even with no penny.

Ungang said this would offer him a fantastic opportunity to share his opinions with the community, whether they get the CDF or not.