National, News

Chaplain in tears over meager Army Salary

By William Madouk

Maj-Gen Jambo Wani Kenyi, the Director for the Chaplains at the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) has whimpered over the low salary payments given to soldiers in the country.

Visibly shedding tears, Gen. Kenyi, lamented the low pay soldiers get, compared to their service, stating that better pay for the army was critical if they were to provide adequate security in the country.

“Now, even when the soldiers receive just SSP 1,200, let me ask you a question! This soldier, you give one thousand two hundred pounds, and the Gwede-gwede (greens) is SSP 2,500,” he said.

“When you touch a chicken, it is going to cost five thousand South Sudanese pounds. As politicians, what do you expect from this uniform?” he quizzed.

Wani made this remark during special prayers held at the national parliament premises, spearheaded by SSPDF chaplaincy and the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), to pray for the leaders.

During the special TNLA-United SSPDF Chaplaincy Corps fellowship, special prayers were conducted for Speaker Nunu Kumba, Mayor of Juba City Michael Lado Allah-Jabu, and parliamentarians.

Both Nunu and Allah-Jabu were also handed Bibles as gifts from the SSPDF.

Gen. Kenyi warned leaders who live lavish lives and have their daily dishes covered by all sorts of diets to also have piety for servicemen and women who could not afford even a local dish.

“If you are eating a chicken and I cannot even get Gwede-Gwede, what do you expect from my side?” he bemoaned.

“Be careful! Because this is a human being like you, but if his is 1,500 US dollars, you stay in your area [due to security] and believe you will never come back to Juba,” he cautioned.

A private in the army gets 1,200 South Sudanese pounds, which reduces to SSP 1,100 when taxed. Currently, a 50-kilogram bag of sorghum costs over SSP 40,000.

According to Wani, those soldiers deserve a ‘handsome’ salary that would allow them to take their children to school and live a decent life.

“What is $1,500? It is nothing for a soldier who fought for this land. The soldier will never have a problem because $1,500 is enough; he can get a small car to his wife, who will begin to smile,” he expressed.

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