By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei
The two lawmakers in Jonglei State Transitional Legislative Assembly who were reportedly suspended by the State governor recently following the impeachment of the State Minister of Finance, Abraham Yuek have rejected their suspension and accused governor Denay Jock Chagor of corruption.
Lawmaker Anter Bayak Kuol representing Duk Constituency and his colleague, Hon. Gatluak Gabriel representing Ayod County yesterday disregarded their suspension and instead accused the Governor Denay Chagor of resources malpractices and corruption in Jonglei State.
This came after the two MPs were suspended by the Governor from their post holders’ position of being the legislators in the State assembly.
The duo claimed that their suspension came after failure to support the Minister of Finance of Jonglei State during the time he was voted out from his position by the State Legislative Assembly.
They cited that they were only exercising their duties as members of the Assembly as required by the conduct of business in Parliament.
The two MPs plus the Minister of Finance including the Governor Chagor all are members of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) which is one of the five parties’ signatory to the R-ARCSS.
Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Gatluak Gabriel said the Minister of Finance stood between the Governor and the Assembly through not giving the Assembly what was required from him by the Assembly.
“If he knows that there is someone driving the State resource, he would have told the Governor that ‘you know I don’t want to spoil myself I have a future for the State, kindly look for someone else’ but since he want to be in the basket of the governor, then that is what let him to the impeachment, it is the Governor who is misusing the State Resources, because the Governor is Corrupt,” Gatluak said.
He stated that they are not fighting for themselves but rather for the people of Jonglei, adding that the reason behind governor’s motive of looking for incompetent Finance Minister is to be able to control his decision.
“During his presentation we asked him (the Minister of Finance) some questions and one of them is to know how much amount the Ministry of Finance allocates to the Jonglei People?”
“Who are the signatories to the State account? Issues of the arrears, which are not provided, among other questions but he didn’t give satisfactory answers, which led to the Assembly to decide and he was voted out,” he revealed the reason that led to the Finance Minister’s impeachment.
Gatluak noted that he got his suspension letter from social media and Radio Jonglei, citing that he wasn’t alerted by the Speaker of Jonglei State Assembly as supposed, declaring that he doesn’t acknowledge his suspension majorly because the Governor is not their Chairperson of SSOA in Jonglei State.
“There is no article from the Conduct of Business that gives the governor the Powers to suspend or remove a constitutional post holder from the Assembly, unless if the post holder is from the same party, however the Governor has used wrong method to remove me, there are a lot of methods that he should have used to remove me not this one in specific, and again he is not the Chairperson of the Party in Jonglei,” Gatluak objected.
For his part Hon. Anter Bayak Kuol, the second suspended MP stated that the fact that they came to government through SSOA doesn’t still dictate their decision within Parliament as legislators toward their colleague’s role out of the party, saying they have Conduct of Business in place that they have to follow in the Assembly.
“The Governor and the Minister of Finance has a link whereby the usage of the resources is going and we condemn this as members of Parliament, it’s not okay to be corrupt,” he echoed.
Bayak protested that their suspension was unlawful quoting that the governor has no powers given to him by Conduct of Business regulation in the assembly to suspend Member of Parliament saying he is still a legitimate member of the Assembly until date.
“There is no article that gives the Governor powers to suspend a member of Legislative assembly unless through party, party can call a meeting, whereby the party can sit and decide to rebuke a member of a political party, but the governor never took the steps but he tried to used his power against the assembly,” he argued.
Meanwhile, the Jonglei State Minister of Information and State government’s spokesperson, John Samuel Manyuon when contacted for comment on the controversy, told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that suspension of the two MPs has been withheld until investigation is done.
“Those are people that are suspended and if they have access to Media and whatever they are achieving, it should be directed to individual and not governor, the reason of the suspension is withheld until the time the investigation is done, while the suspension was just issued and the rest will be shared during the final procedure,” he told this paper.