Home | News    Thursday 26 July 2018

Rights body tells S. Sudan lawmakers to return car “bonuses”

July 25, 2018 (KAMPALA/JUBA) – A South Sudanese human rights entity has condemned government’s decision to give the country’s lawmakers about $40,000 as car bonuses, urging the legislators to voluntarily return the money to the state treasury.

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South Sudanese MPs stand during a parliamentary session in Juba on August 31, 2011 (AFP)

The bonuses were awarded to the lawmakers, barely a month after the lawmakers extended President Salva Kiir’s mandate until 2021.

The executive director for the Center Peace and Justice’s (CPJ), Tito Anthony said it a wrong decision at a wrong time, where citizens need the basic service such as hospitals, schools, shelter and food.

“I question the professionality of our MPs and it is clear they are just a rubber stamp of the executive and can encourage corruption if they can be rewarded like what has now been done,” Tito said Thursday.

He said the MPs should have questioned the executive about the source of the money they were each given, considering that the country’s civil servant have gone unpaid for more than five months.

“It now clear that both the executive and legislature work only for their own interest, but not [for] the people of South Sudan as they claimed,” further explained Tito.

He added, “The money paid to MPs is a lot and it could have instead been used to rescue the suffering population, many of who have died of treatable diseases such Malaria and Typhoid because of lack of good hospitals and medicine, or they could use it to build schools or purchase relief and distribute to ordinary citizens whose humanitarian situations deteriorate on a daily basis due to inflation”.

Meanwhile CPJ has vowed to take legal action against the lawmakers should they fail to properly account for the state money.

South Sudan lawmakers are among the lowest paid in the region.