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RUSH FOR USD 40,000 MPs car loan

MPs at a sitting in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (photo by Woja Emmanuel Wani)

By Woja Emmanuel Wani

Members of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly have each received about 40,000 US dollars loan from the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) to help them buy cars to ease the movement of MPs.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday the Secretary General of the Women Parliamentary Caucus Elizabeth Adut confirmed that the money was lent to them to alleviate transport problems facing the parliamentarians.

Adut however did not specify when the money will be refunded, saying they were “finance and administrative arrangements” between the Members of Parliament and the government.

“We have been given the car loan and the period of refunding the money will depend on the agreement with the administration of the finance,” she said.

According to the MPs, all Members of Parliament present in Juba received the money and those who were out of the country would receive theirs when they come back.

MP Adut said that they received the money only to purchase cars to enable them move to work.

She added that remaining balances from the car loan could be used on anything based on individual wishes, but hinted that they could invest the balance to generate money in order to enable them refund the loan back to the government.

Adut added that Ministers and the Members of Parliament all received the same amount of money.

In 2010 Members of Parliament were given similar loan of about 120,000 Sudanese Pounds which they refunded, according to Adut.

Some members of the public however are very skeptical about the whole deal questioning whether the MPs will really return the money lent to them.

According to Jame David Kolok the chairperson of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG), it was inconsiderate step taken by the government to allocate the loan money which could have been used for supporting the needy.

“When civil servants started to complain about unpaid salaries the government replied clearly that they did not have money to pay them. Now paying MPs over 40,000 US dollars you wonder where the government is getting this huge amount from and whether the government has been realistic in what they are doing,” Kolok explained to Juba Monitor in an interview yesterday.

Kolok added that the MPs were supposed to represent their constituencies adding that the step taken by the government in lending them car loan signifies satisfactions of self-interests.

In the 2017/2018 Budget the MPs allocated some money to buy cars for twenty five chairpersons and deputies of the specialized committees in the parliament, and approved car loans to be given to the other 350 MPs.

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