UNPATRIOTIC, Conspiracy to impeach Makana

By: Charles Lotara/Elia Joseph Loful and Peter Gatkuoth

A call from Members of Parliament urging the Speaker of Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) Anthony Lino Makana to step down over corruption allegations has caught the attention of the nation.

Some staunch members of the ruling party SPLM and across section of the public have termed the move as “conspiracy” to impeach the speaker for his firm stand and support to the President and the ruling party. The speaker is known as a man who is a firm supporter of President Salva Kiir and who stands for peace and unity of the country.

Gen Khamis Abdallahtif who was the first person to come to speaker Makana’s defense repeated the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit intelligently observed the potential in Makana prior to his endorsement for the position he is holding to date, it was not by chance but rather he knew what he was doing.

Across section of members of the public interviewed by Juba Monitor on the Makana issues came out bluntly saying “ If these MPs claim that the speaker is corrupt, then they should all go home because there is no one clean among them.”

Gen Khamis said, clearly, Makana did not disappoint. For the Members of Parliament who might not know, or might have forgotten how instrumental the Speaker of Parliament has been to the nation, it’s important to have a glance and enlightenment on the achievements he made since his appointment.

Makana was the brain behind the ratification of different Conventions and Protocols, these included the United Nations Convention of Refugee Rights, United Nations Convention on Child Rights, United Nations Covenant 1966 on Political Rights, United Nations Covenant 1966 on Economic Rights, United Nations Covenant 1966 on Cultural Rights, United Nations Covenant on Social Rights, and United Nations Protocol (Maputo Protocol) on Women’s Rights.

Summon of State Governors from Torit, Kapoeta, Northern Liech, Ruweng, Tonj, Gogrial and Twic were done during the tenure of Makana.

As if the above were not enough, Makana’s three-year tenure also witnessed the approval and ratification of Presidential Order Governing the National Petroleum and Gas Corporation Bill 2019. This was doubled by summon of Ministers from 16 national Ministries.

National Minister of Forestry and Environment, National Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, National Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, National Minister of Interior, and National Minister of Health were among the Ministers summoned.

Makana’s administration also passed various laws including Civil Registry Act 2018, Insurance Act 2018, Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act 2018, NGO Act 2017, Labour Act, National Revenue Authority Act 2016, National Electricity Act 2016, and National Security Act 2016.

Other achievements include election of Members of Parliament to join the East African Legislative Assembly, hosting IGAD Inter-Parliamentary Union and meeting of the International Conference on Great Lakes Region coupled by hosting Forum of Speakers East African Parliaments in Juba.

Makana established parliamentary diplomacy with foreign and international parliaments. These were Parliament of Sudan, Parliament of Angola, East Africa Legislative Assembly, Parliament of Egypt, Parliament of Israel, Parliament of Uganda, Parliament of Kenya, Parliament of Japan, Parliament of Rwanda, Parliament of Burundi, and Parliament of Canada among others.

The incumbent Speaker of Parliament also delivered speeches promoting South Sudan at international arenas such as the World Bank Parliamentary Forum in Washington, IGAD Inter-Parliamentary Union in Addis Ababa, Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, International Conference on Great Lakes Region and East Africa Legislative Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania.

From 2016 – 2019 the Transitional National Legislative Assembly was awarded Honorary Doctorate by the International Peace Academy for Legislative Excellence and Community Leadership from Casablanca, Morocco in 2018.

The Assembly also received Honorary Award offered by the Pan African Humanitarian Summit for Legislative Excellence and Community Leadership, Rabat, Morocco within the same year.

Over and above the aforementioned achievements, senior SPLA member General Khamis Abdallatif said Makana is a loyalist who adheres to directives from the President.

The opposition conspiracy allegedly led by a former Cabinet Minister to push impeachment agenda against Makana clearly undermines the executive power of His Excellency Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit and the values he stands for.

“The 2015 agreement clearly stated that Kiir was to be President, Machar First Vice President, Dr. James Wani Igga Vice President and Speaker of Parliament was to come from Equatoria.

“Makana is a staunch defender of President Kiir administration and SPLM. There must be tangible evidence and documented proof against anyone accused of corruption,” Abdallatif said adding that Makana has been working for peace and unity in the country.

Abdallatif said “We have records of corruption about everyone whether in the assembly or anywhere, even those who are talking against Lino Makana. Soon we are going to announce to the public.”

In July 2018, MPs who today accuse Makana for being corrupt received USD 40,000 car loans acquired by Makana to improve livelihoods of constituent representatives.

The citizens have weighed and demonstrated solidarity with Makana saying, if Makana’s impeachment is based on corruption allegations then all Members of Parliament must be dismissed.

Adau Garang a resident of Munuki said she does not see any reason as to why the Speaker should be removed saying any misconduct by him should be dealt with according to the Law.

“I think if someone like him who has done good work; I don’t think he should be removed. He should be allowed to continue with his work and if there is any mistake he has committed it should be handled according to the Law,” Adau said.

Another respondent who only preferred to be known as Daniel said he did not hear anything bad concerning the Speaker saying those who are in authority should handle such case carefully.

I think this issue started up there with them. If the Speaker has done something wrong, there is law, he should be called and talked to and the case should be settled peacefully. If he’s found on the wrong side he can be removed. But According to me I did not hear anything wrong about him,” Daniel said.

Meanwhile, Martin and Modi, residents of Kololo said there is no any good person in regard to corruption saying that all those who are calling for the removal of Makana are also corrupt adding there was no one person who is clean in the parliament.

“This issue of corruption is common, everyone is corrupt and even those who are complaining in parliament for Makana to resign,” they said.

Aweil East State Member of Parliament Deng Majok Athian insisted that Makana should be removed.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Majok said “Parliament must be clean, Members of Parliament are law makers, they are the ones making the laws, If not corruption why does the Parliament want him to resign? Because he is corrupt. Lino have to go, either resign or be dismissed and he should also pay the money he stole because nobody is above the laws.”

Majok did not reveal the exact amount he claims was stolen by Makana saying other Members of Parliament have the details.

National Alliance member Dharuai Mabor Teny and Acting Deputy Chief Whip are said to be some of the key faces pushing the impeachment agenda against Makana according to internal sources who spoke to Juba Monitor.

The Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2019 does not have a provision that empowers Members of Parliament to call for the dismissal of the Speaker.

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