Central Equatoria State, News

MPs fume after three officials snub summon

By William Madouk


Central Equatoria State legislative assembly again suffered a snub after two summoned state ministers and Juba County commissioner failed to honor summons.

Officials who defied the summons included the minister of housing, land, and public utilities, Fred Laku Raymon; the acting minister of local government, Wayi Goodwill; and Juba County commissioner, Charles Wani Joseph.

“I want to announce that the two ministers and the commissioner of Juba County did not show up, and the reason, I don’t know,” said CES assembly speaker, Rt. Hon. Peter Wani Kulang.

But no information was provided by the three government officials about their absence from the grilling by the state parliament.

“I called the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, who is supposed to communicate this, and I wrote to him officially to inform the two ministers and the Juba commissioner… but he never turned up, or he did not even pick up my phone,” he added.

The summoned officials are supposed to respond to questions about the insecurity and rampant land grabbing in Juba County.

MPs reactions

The officials who snub the summons are likely to put themselves between rock and hard place as angered MPs vow to take stern measures against them if they fail to turn up on Monday next week.

Lawmaker Mary Elias said, “What is happening to these ministers and the commissioner? Don’t they believe in our capacity and capability for this house?” she asked.

“They are not listening to us; they are not listening to our leader of this house, calling them every now and then. Now it is our turn,” she continued.

“If we turn in the wrong direction, they should not cry. We want some of them to cry,” Mrs. Elias noted.

Jacob Aligo Lo-Lado, the chief whip for the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party, moved a motion that the three officials should turn up next week, Monday, or the House would take a strict decision against them.

“These officials who absent themselves are ignorant of the fact that what the House is going to say is going to help them in their decisions regarding the same issue,” said Lo-Lado.

“Now that they are absent, Rt. Hon. Speaker, I am moving that. Let us give them Monday to report here. Failure to do so, any decision this House will take will be final,” he echoed.

The speaker, Peter Wani Kulang, said if they (officials) do not show up next week as agreed, the House will impeach them, a motion seconded by all members.

“If they don’t come on Monday, consider that this House is going to impeach them all in absentia,” he stressed.

Another MP, Uria Guya Emmanuel, who represents Morobo County, said, “I think the absence of the honorable ministers on our call should be an eye-opener to us. All of us as members of Parliament.”

“If truly this is their second absence here, we are supposed to take a decision. However, since we agreed to go on Monday, I know they will come because they want their seats,” he noted.

The chairperson of the Specialized Committee for Information at the Assembly, James Modi Lomidi, told journalists that the parliament will take a drastic decision if those officials do not show up again.

“Well, regarding decisions of the House, members will sit, and if they fail to come, they will definitely take a decision that is in the interest of the public,” Lomidi explained.

When asked what the House decision could be, he said, “There’s nothing in Parliament that you can preempt the decision of the House, because the decision of the House could either be a resolution or a recommendation for failure to have honoured the request of the House.”

“That is one of the most important things, but I cannot begin to speak on something that members of this House have not stated,” he added.

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