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MPs fail to turn for business after receiving USD 25,000

By Kidega Livingstone

Members of Parliament (MPs) vacated Parliament after receiving USD 25,000 each for health insurance last week.

On Thursday last week, the 400 MPs received the cash as part of health insurance. A member of parliament confirmed to Eye Radio that they had received 25,000 USD each.

Yesterday Juba Monitor on its daily duty in parliament found that the Parliament building and Freedom Hall where the MPs have been conducting their sittings remained empty without any activities by the members of parliament in the two houses.

Juba Monitor noticed that all the chairpersons of all the Specialized Committees were not around except only the staff working in those respective offices.

The parliament is not in recess and it has not been dissolved following Kiir’s dissolution of the government a week ago.

When contacted, the Chairperson of the Information Committee in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) Paul Yoane Bonju said he was for leave.

In the afternoon, Juba Monitor’s reporter moved to Freedom Hall where sittings have been taking place on daily basis, surprisingly there was no single MP in the Freedom Hall.

It is uncommon for the parliament to be empty.

Activist Gatluak Michael criticized the lawmakers saying it was not right for the MPs to be given 25,000 USD.

 “They have no legitimacy to allocate fund for them. In fact if we have rule of law, they should be asked to return the money. It is unconstitutional for national parliament to do things in the darkness. They should have made it public that they need money for medical insurance,” said Gatluak.

“Why do they do things illegally while they claim to be honorable members of parliament…they are supposed to do things openly.”

He emphasized that the South Sudanese have lost trust in the Parliament because they are servants of themselves, not the people.

This was the second significant payment made to the lawmakers in the last two years.

In 2018, members of parliament were given 40 thousand USD each as car loans. Up to now there are no reports of the MPs paying back the claimed loan.

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