Two ministers evade summon; legislators adjourn sitting

Central Equatoria State Reconstituted Transitional Legislative Assembly building (Photo by William Madouk Garang

By William Madouk Garang

Central Equatoria State Legislative Assembly adjourned sitting following the decline of the two ministers who were summoned last week.

Speaker of CES reconstituted transitional legislative assembly, Peter Wani Kulang adjourned the session and directed the clerk to follow up with office of the governor for the House to take informed decision.

The two state ministers failed to honour the summon by State legislators to answer questions on issue of demarcation and illicit allocation of a piece of land that belong to Juba Commercial Secondary School to some individuals.

Those ministers who failed to appear before the law makers are; State minister of Housing, Land and Public Utilities, Flora Gabriel and minister of General Education & Instruction, Cirisio Zakaria Lado.

According to the August House, the two ministers were summoned after the House has noted that public lands allotted to schools among others are being given to some individuals, government institutions and for businesses.

“This morning, Clerk informed me that he has done all the communication and he was told by Cabinet Affairs that they didn’t get any communication from the office of the governor.  So, maybe this is the reason why we didn’t see two ministers who were summoned,” CES Speaker said on yesterday Monday.

“As we are still to follow up why the (letter) delayed in the office of the governor for this same item No. 2 in the agenda, I hereby adjourn this sitting until Wednesday then we will see on Wednesday what to do,” he added.

Addressing the journalists after postponement of the sitting, the Chairperson of Specialized Committee for Peace and Security, Isaac Aloro said illegal public lands allotment to people had prompted the House to summon the two ministers but regrettably they didn’t turn-up.

The law maker said that it is now the second time the two ministers dodged the summon.  

Moreover, he said any minister or public official who snubbed summon by the August House several times, will prompt administrative measure can be taken against them.

“The August House has a power to relieve or impeach ministers should they fail to answer questions in the floor of parliament. Any public official that is summoned and fail to turn-up for several times, there’s always administrative step the August House will take,” he said.

Mr. Aloro said, as a procedure the parliament they had written a letter to state leadership to release the two ministers but they didn’t receive any official statement from the office of the governor.

“We are yet to follow if there is an issue because we, the House are not officially updated whether they are released or not so that is the communication which has been poor and not clear until now and that led to adjournment of the sitting,” Aloro explained.

There have been conflicts related to land grabbing and unlawful allotment of land in the capital Juba and other areas around Central Equatoria State.

According to the rights group – land-grabbing remains as a security threat.

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