By Bida Elly David
A parliamentary committee instituted to investigate Western Equatoria State governor, Alfred Futuyo Karaba has begun its work.
Gen. Alfred Futuyo Karaba is being investigated for alleged misappropriation of salary arrears meant for officials of defunct states now amalgamated into Western Equatoria.
But Futuyo had denied any involvement in the purported misappropriation of salaries of civil servants of the 32-state era.
He earlier told parliament that salaries for Western Equatoria state civil servants have been remitted through the Treasury.
According to John Agany Deng, parliament spokesperson, the committee, consisting of lawmakers, will soon visit the state to gather information about financial transfers.
“They have started their side meetings, and after they finish inquiries and get papers from the national minister of finance, they will then fly to Western Equatoria State,” he told this outlet.
Mr. Agany said lawmakers from Western Equatoria State were excluded from the committee to prevent conflicts of interest.
“Basically, there are no outsiders to carry the probe. They are the members of the parliament with the exclusion of the lawmakers from Western Equatoria because this thing is very sensitive,” Agany said.
“Involving lawmakers in that state can draw parties into conflict. The committee formed by the Hon. Speakers has seen across the parties except the members from the state who are not partisan to it.”
He stated that the committee has been given 15 days to complete their task and present their report to the August House.
In regards to summoning the national minister of finance over the same issue, Agany said the governor will first prove the issue in question before the minister appears.
“The governor will be substantiating the issue in question, and then the minister of finance will be a component that will give a substantive issue as a reply to the results generated from the investigation,” he said.
The lawmaker stated that the issue is delicate and both parties must present facts to parliament, in addition to the investigative committee’s report.
“If the minister of finance says that the money has been sent to the state, then the governor will be on his turn to answer questions from us,” he said.
Governor Futuyo appeared before the August House two weeks ago and was sent back by the parliament after the House resolved to form a committee to investigate the matter right away.
This means Governor Futuyo is set to face the minister of finance in a battle of facts presentation that will justify the end of blame games.