By James Innocent
Businesswomen who are widowed and have to singlehandedly shoulder the burden of raising up their children and schooling them through doing some small-scale businesses in Yei River County of Central Equatoria State are decrying exorbitant charges from several roadblocks mounted by security forces.
The widows said all routes linking them to market areas have roadblocks mounted on making business a big blow to them as they look for school fees for their children who are left without fathers and guardians.
The women paraded their complaints to the area members of parliament representing their constituencies at the State transitional legislative assembly who are currently on recess and have gone down to their people to listen to their voices and get their complaints.
Grace Senya, a resident of Yei River County said she lost her husband and she’s doing business in order to feed and educate her children.
Senya however said doing business in Yei has turned quite difficult due to rampant roadblocks mounted along access routes to market areas where they are being charged highly at every roadblock not even proportionate to their goods value.
“I am a widow and I want to pay my children in school and I am a businesswoman who buys goods from the local markets especially in Abegi road, Kegulu and Lutaya market, there are many roadblocks and the goods I normally buy are not in bulk but the charges are high in each block like 5,000 South Sudanese pounds each and out of this my children want to eat and they need school fees now with all these happening, does the government really look into all these charges,” she narrated her ordeal.
Teresa Juan is another resident of Yei River County who experiences the same situation. She urged the government and political leaders to provide food for the Army instead of leaving them without food causing tension among civilians and soldiers.
She said that the soldiers were produced by women and if they don’t respect them (women) it will be a curse to the new nation.
She further urged the South Sudan government to emulate the way the Arabs regime of Khartoum took care of its soldiers during the old Sudan by feeding the soldiers well, with abundant food that civilians even benefited from their surplus rations.
“During the Arab regime, civilians used to benefit from food left by the Arab soldiers that time but as we have separated from the Arabs, we have seen that most of the soldiers survive from civilians but I am urging the government to provide food for soldiers to avoid crimes that will be committed by them, otherwise it will be a big curse since their husbands fought for the freedom of this nation till they died as heroes but their families are not supported till now,” she cited.
Central Equatoria State members of parliament organized a one-day meeting that brought together more than one hundred participants drawn from different communities living in Yei River County which includes elders, chiefs, women and youth.
The State lawmakers who are on recess met with members of their constituencies to gather their voices, complaints and challenges which they (MPs) will later table at the august house when they return for their business, that is according to one area MP, Hon. Jacob Aligo Lo-Lado.