Constitutional Committee suspends its operation over unpaid arrears

By William Madouk

The National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) has suspended all its operations due to nonpayment of national staff by the national government putting implementation of the roadmap to test.

The committee comprising of 15 members, said they have not been paid for the last 3 years, adding that they only received initial funds of 0.5 percent out of the total submitted budget in 2020.

Out of 15 committee members, two non-national staff are being paid by IGAD, while 13 nationals who are parties’ representative to the agreement are to be paid by government but that has not been happening.

“Despite the enormous work involved and challenges of lack of facilitation, the committee has been working for nearly 3 years without payment,” partly reads the statement seen by this outlet. 

NCAC stated that, they continuously followed up the issue of payment with concerned authorities including the Office of the Vice President for Economic Cluster, yet nothing materialized.

“The First Vice President and the Vice President for Economic Cluster wrote directing the Minister of Finance and Planning to make payment of the NCAC dues. Unfortunately, to date no payment has been made,” it added.

NCAC, a body tasked to enact critical bills officially announced the sit-down strike, citing financial limitations.

“For that reason, it has become very challenging to continue with its mandate without the necessary support needed to facilitate its national members,” the statement said.

“NCAC deeply regrets that it will now cease all its operations with immediate effect until the government clears all its outstanding dues,” it continued.

Since its establishment in 2018, about eighteen bills have been amended, however, NCAC cited that with operations halted, it could impact negatively as critical laws remain pending.

“There are still critical pending laws that needed to be reviewed to facilitate the implementation of the roadmap fully,” NCAC warned.

The NCAC was reconstituted by IGAD on October, 2018 as per the agreement (chapter 1, Article that mandated the committee to make amendment to the constitution and laws to incorporate agreement and relevant reforms.

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