Central Equatoria State, News

MPs summon minister over dubious land deal

By William Madouk

Central Equatoria State’s transitional Legislative Assembly has summoned the state minister of Finance and Planning, Viana Kakuli to appear before the house, Tuesday, next week.

MP Uria Guya Emmanuel tabled before the House an urgent and important motion to summoning the finance minister over dubious transaction of government land.

The House resolved after deliberations to summon the State Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Wayi Godwill Edward and the Minister of Finance, Planning and Investment, Viana Kakuli Aggrey.

Lawmaker, Prof. Ladu Bareng seconded the motion, citing erroneous procedures that the minister of finance took in the land deal.

According to him, the minister should have tabled a memo before the council of ministries and if approved, then the resolutions brought before the August House for further scrutiny and approval.

“As member of this house we are supposed to protect the properties of the government because an institution cannot seek to sell property of the government otherwise, we will all end up without inheritance to our generations” he added.

Another MP. Khamis Kwaje explained why he seconded the motion.

“I move swiftly to second the minister to appear before the house because we have seen some un-procedural steps taken here and when you look at the body of the letter alone demand explanation,” he explained.

“This is a government property which there are procedures that are supposed to be taken and the minister took it upon herself to ignore some of the steps to be taken and went direct to the governor,” he added.

SPLM-IO chief whip, Dabe Francis, said he was perplexed to see that minister of finance exchanged the plot in a bid to get what was budgeted for in the two consecutive budgets.

“On the note, the sum of amount worth SSP 40 million was budgeted for, including among other same project that today the minister is claiming that they needed $100,000 out of exchange that was FY 2021/22,” said Dabe.

“The FY 2022/23, if you also open page 36 – the same ministry budgeted for the same capital expenditure an amount of money worth over SSP 52 million also for that item of the completion of ongoing,” he added.

MP Dabe also urge the House to summon the state minister of cabinet affairs to answer why he did not advise the minister of finance to table a memo before the parliament rather than power overlapping.

According to an MP, the plot NO.64 Block AXII in Hai-Malakal was purchased in 1975, for the Ministry of finance, adding that the value of the plot could not be 600,000 US dollars as put by the minister.

Hence, lawmaker James Modi Lomidi raised the motion to summon the two ministries in which the 35 members voted in favor of ministers to appear before the House in one week’s time.

“Members in support of two weeks are 13, members in support of one week are 34 and neutral members are 4, so one week passed,” Peter Wani Kulang, the CES speaker announced to the Members.

Addressing the journalists after sitting, the Chairperson of the Specialized Committee for Information at the Assembly, James Modi Lomidi said failure for the ministers to appear before the House could lead to impeachment.

According to him, the House considers if the post holder is sick and makes an official communication to explain reasons of not being able to appear before the parliament in due time.

This came after Ms. Kakuli allegedly appealed to the governor to approve the exchange to allow her docket to continue giving services, in a letter addressed to the governor Adil Anthony, dated August March 8 and seen by this outlet.

If approved the land worth $600,000 will be handed to a private firm, the Quick Global Logistics Company LTD.

Ms. Kakuli in a purported document said they would be given 5 Toyota Hardtops and an amount of 100,000 US dollars for the construction of the new building.




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