By Maring Lu-Jokudu Na-Minteng
I would like to sincerely congratulate the parliament of Central Equatoria State for putting the executive this time on their toes. The MPs have redeemed the ailing image of the Central Equatoria State Parliament from being manipulated by the Executive and powerful individuals. The legislature is one of the most important institutions of our country standing as a symbol of our State. Once members are sent to the parliament by the people or by their parties, it is their onerous task and responsibility to nurture and sustain the legacy of the parliament to avoid it being called a rubber stamp, dead parliament, or sleeping dog. Indeed, parliamentarians have a cardinal role to put the executive on their toes because they are the representative of the people in the state.
This time, we are obliged to give Caesar what belongs to Caesar. The MPs have stood their ground to make the Executive quake. This answers the call of my previous article that says: “When the parliament coughs the executive quakes”. Truly this time the MPs have cough strongly as representatives of the people and we the people can applaud them for the step they have taken to play their legislative oversight role very well.
It was on October 5th, 2022, the August House summoned three ministers to explain the legality of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the government of Central Equatoria State (CEG) and an Indian private company known as Modern Approach Company (MAC) Ltd in respect of establishing E-Government system and subsequent projects for Central Equatoria State.
This private company is operating under the protection and directive of a very powerful Guru who is untouchable and who’ve promoted himself as the Lord of Central Equator is State. The Ministers who signed the MOU on behalf of the government of Central Equatoria State include the minister of cabinet affairs; the minister of information and communication; and the minister of finance, planning, and investments.
The senior SPLM cadres were the ones who exposed this MAC project which was designed by a few individuals to wire out the revenues of the State to a foreign country to gratify the interest of the click, and; the Pay-write Journalist Garang John described the Senior SPLM Cadres as SPLM Dead Woods. But the prophecy of what he termed as the “Senior SPLM Dead Woods” is biting the beneficiaries of the E-tax system progressively and successfully. Congratulations to the SPLM Senior Cadres, who have a far-sighted vision for the people of CES and the people of South Sudan at large.
Since this MOU was signed between the two interesting parties, it has been operating illegally and looting the revenues of Central Equatoria State without the approval of the parliament. To protect their interests, the ministers became defensive and using terminologies similar to that of Garang John.
The State Minister of Information and communication, who is an experienced parliamentarian during the previous parliament of 2005 to 2010 and that of 2011 beyond was quoted saying: “I do not imagine that this powerful August House, renowned in oversight can simply endorse the myopic views of the analog team of technocrats so that the E-Government system is dismissed to leave the analog system to prevail over CEG”.
This statement alone is a blackmailing statement intended to keep the parliament to remain a “YES” parliament so that they can pass the MAC system. But the statement angered the MPs to demand the minister withdraw the term “myopic” and apologize to the parliament. He apologized to the parliament that: ” I was not meaning that the analog group didn’t see far before running to seek the help of August House. I am not saying it’s the August House that is “myopia”. However, the minister didn’t mention who this myopia group is. The author of this article deduced that he meant the Senior SPLM Cadres who were the ones who raise this MAC system to the public. The senior SPLM cadres wrote extensively about this open theft of a few individuals in the State and they created awareness among the employees of Central Equatoria State revenue-generating institutions to know their rights and present their grievances to the parliament which made the parliament pick up.
Since the Parliamentarians were sworn in, they were operating under fear of the executive until when the Senior SPLM Cadres stirred up their minds to know their mandate that they have an oversight role over the executive to protect the interests of the people.
In a positive move, some responsible MPs boldly tabled a motion questioning the legality of the E-government and E-tax (MAC) system which was for all this time looting the revenues of the State illegally.
As requested by the Parliament, the Minister of information and communication who is the official spokesperson of the government did not give a sufficient explanation to the parliament which resulted in the MAC project being thrown away.
Congratulations CES Parliament. You have this time shown to the people of CES that you are a true representative of the people. The people of CES are now reading you going on the right track. Keep going on the right track and keep garnering the support of the people of Central Equatoria State.