By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei
The Spokesperson of the National Parliament, John Agany Deng yesterday lashed on the media and the public for criticizing the recent payment of 15,000 US dollars as Medical Allowance to lawmakers at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly.
He stated that the Medical insurance given to the MPs is lawful, citing that legislators in South Sudan are the most underpaid MPs in the world.
Agany who made various media houses representatives in Juba yesterday urged the journalists and the media to be responsible in their reporting by following the media ethics not to cause turmoil in the country.
His caution to the media came after several criticisms directed to lawmakers from members of the public after the media reported the disbursement of the 15,000 USD medical allowances for the MPs sparking public outcry.
Addressing journalists in his office yesterday, John Agany said he wanted to make it crystal clear that it was the right of the lawmakers to get the money and they are working hard to also ensure the civil servants get improved pay.
“MPs are paid legally; why people take it as something abusive to the nation like other media houses looked at it,” he wondered.
The information committee chairperson at the R-TNLA sadly revealed that the Country has lost about sixty MPs since independence; citing lack of medical insurance due to failure to pay the MPs Money regularly was to blame for the alarming deaths in the august house.
“We have lost about sixty MPs who died of some minor sicknesses that could be treated but because of our negligence, we don’t give them money all the time, the MPs of the National Legislative Assembly are the most unpaid MPs in the World,” he underlined.
“Before we as MPs used to be paid SSP 9,400 but we never complained, now to be specific about the Law and to start with the constitution that talks about access to information, that every person must be given access to information without condition but giving information to the nation must also be regulated,” he advised.
Agany stated that the MPs have faced a challenge from critics recently after receiving their pay which he blamed to be a mistake from the Media.
“While article 32 of the constitution also said that every person must not cause hate speech, and because of this money every Hourable has faced challenges everywhere in South Sudan, I don’t know if people know this, that the people they elected in the houses are being paid by the government and the money given to them is always in accordance to the law,” he asked.