By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei
The President of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) Oyet Patrick Charles yesterday echoed that there is no law that bars Journalists from reporting on parliamentarians’ pay.
This came in response to parliament discontent with media after it recently reported the payment of 15,000 US Dollars as medical allowances to lawmakers at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly.
The news that wasn’t received well with the crisis-stricken South Sudanese public provoked a negative public debate especially on social media painting a bad picture of the MPs slamming them of not prioritizing the interest of the suffering citizens.
These criticisms prompted the spokesperson of Parliament John Agany Deng to urge Journalists and media houses to be responsible in their reporting by following the Media Ethics not to cause turmoil in the Country.
UJOSS president, Oyet however told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that there is no law that dictates reporting of MPs’ emoluments and privileges.
“If you go online and check how much the MPs in Kenya receive you will get it including the allowances, including sitting allowances, and therefore the one of South Sudan is the same, there is no law that said that we should never report salaries of Parliament, where is it written, I have never seen,” he questioned.
“If it’s there let somebody show us that there is a law that said the money that parliamentarians earn, allowances and everything is not for public, as far as I know, it’s not there and as media, Members of Parliament represent us, they represent people, they represent their constituencies and for that reason the people need to know about them including their salaries,” he lamented.
In 2018, the government gave each of the previous 400 members of Parliament a 40,000 US Dollars car loan to help them buy cars, the President’s office defended the 16 million Dollars spent on the legislators, saying the MPs could not be expected to ride motorcycles.