By William Madouk Garang
Commissioner of the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission, Christina Henry Jada has lamented that low civil servants’ wages are one of the triggers of corruption in the government.
Speaking during the commemoration of global anti-corruption Day on Friday, Ms. Jada stated that to accelerate the battle against corruption, the government must increase civil servants’ salaries to meet living standards.
“We are requesting again the government to increase the salaries of civil servants to meet minimum standards of living and reduce the corruption activities,” said Christina.
“We know very well now how much are we earning, is not to the standard of living and maybe that is why corruption is so much happening in our government offices,” she continued
The anti-graft official further cited that to eliminate corruption evil, the Commission should be empowered and given full funding to enable them to perform their mandate to the fullest.
“To improve on the fight of corruption, the commission shall be well funded to execute its mandates because without funds we cannot be able to do most of the things,” she stated.
For his part, the first deputy speaker of the National Parliament, Nathaniel Oyet Pierino agreed with the commissioner, citing that since the establishment of the anti-corruption commission government allocated little or no funds against the vice.
Lawmaker Pierino, who was also the guest of honour, mourned that if one person can snaffle eight million, how many schools, universities and asphalt roads could have been built with such money if anti-graft was empowered?
“Somebody talks about low salaries, it’s true that if we don’t improve the salaries of public servants in this country we will not succeed to fight corruption,” he noted.
The MP said when he raised the issue of low salary payment during the 6th Governors’ Forum some people look at him weirdly, asserting that civil servants and organized forces were supposed to get ‘meaningful’ pay.
“This is a fact the salaries of civil servants, organized forces and military must be reviewed. They should get meaningful salaries that they will be contented with it”,
“That they can be able to budget for their substance for at least 30 days before they get their next salaries and serve for the school fees of their kids – they can buy clothes, treat themselves and still remain with savings in the banks – this is the meaningful salary,” he noted
International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed annually on December 9, since the agreement by the United Nations Convention against Corruption on October 31, 2002.
This year’s anniversary is themed “your role, your right. Say “No” to corruption. Your “No” counts.” The day is intended to raise public awareness, and promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption.