National, News

Don’t be tribalistic-Nunu warns lawmakers

By Bida Elly David


Speaker of transitional national legislative assembly has warned lawmakers against ethnic division in parliament while tackling matters of public concern.

Jema Nunu Kumba made the urge after observing some lawmakers siding with their communities during parliamentary discussions, this week.

“Mentioning tribes in our interaction tantamount to hate speech and no tribe should be mentioned in this house. We need to demonstrate the utmost respect for each other as we address issues,” she continued.

The speaker said that the national parliament is not based on tribes and regions, but represents the people of South Sudan.

Nunu told the lawmakers that a member of parliament is a person who stands against what is wrong and advocates for truth for the good of the common citizen.

“We need respect from the leadership of the parliament and the country because we are not here representing tribes. If there are issues, raise them to the right channel for the right response,” she advised.

Citing a scenario where an MP stands to support his or her own people even when they are on the wrong, the speaker said such, is a crime in itself.

Nunu urged the lawmakers to have facts before raising any issue of public concerns in the country.

She said it is shameful if MPs who represent citizens at the parliament are divided along tribal lines, thus resulting in a loss of trust.

The speaker warned the legislators against taking sides and action, particularly on issues concerning conflicts in their areas.

“Rumours should not be entertained because they only spoil working relationships among us,” she noted.

Some lawmakers lauded the speaker and promised to be vigilant while discussing issues.

Though, James Boboya, a political analyst, concurred with the speaker, he however, differed on the representation of constituencies in conflict areas.

Boboya said that lawmakers, hailing from constituencies with conflicts, have the right to react on difficulties affecting their people.

“Sometimes, when members of parliament speak of conflict or issues that affect their communities, they are not tribal. It was the speaker who took them more tribal, but not,” Boboya said.

He argued that parliament is composed of MPs with different political and traditional backgrounds who represent their people.

The Analyst echoed that members of parliament are politicians by virtue, who deserve to speak on behalf of their communities without deterrence.

He however, slammed some lawmakers of being adamant when addressing issues affecting their communities.

“Most of the parliamentarians do not raise issues based on national interest. Until this parliament decides to act based on the interests of their people, they will begin seeing their roles recognized by society,’’ he added.

The political analyst stressed that lawmakers have to put the will of the people before individuals’ interests.

Boboya suggested the need to have lawmakers in the national assembly, who represent the voiceless.

“We need to have real national leaders of the parliament who function in accordance with the interests of the people and South Sudan as a nation,” he urged.

The august house, on Tuesday, witnessed a heated and controversial debate when some lawmakers from Jonglei and Greater Pibor Administrative Area were locked in blame games over child abduction and cattle raiding.

The controversy angered the chief administrator of GPAA and the governor of Jonglei State, who blame some MPs for having failed to address the recurring conflict.

The speaker was provoked to call the furious MPs into order after the argument exceeded, urging them to focus on bringing the conflict to an end through their leaders.



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