Central Equatoria State, News

MPs split over impeachment motion

By William Madouk


An impeachment motion moved against three Central Equatoria State ministers on Monday, has divided members of the state parliament.

Amid contrasting views and a walkout mainly by SPLM party lawmakers, the house eventually adopted the motion pending deliberation and casting vote of no confidence.

The ministers in question include Mr. Wayi Godwill Edward, acting minister of local government and law enforcement; Fred Laku, minister of housing and public utilities; and Viana Kakuli Aggrey, minister of finance and planning.

It all happened when motion mover Edward Dian Tongo said the preliminary investigation indicated that a state plot had been exchanged for services by the state Ministry of Finance and Investment through the state investment authority.

He added that the trio had coordinated lies to the House over the alleged sale of government land to cover up the scandal.

“I, Edward Dian Tongo, do hereby move a motion for a vote of no confidence in the persons of three state ministers… for lying to the honorable August House for the second time and to the select committee,” said Tongo.

According to him, the amount of dishonesty and incompetence in their responsibilities cannot allow them to hold public office even for a second.

Another MP, Khamis James, who seconded the motion, said, as the people’s representative, they would not condone such activities in the state.

“I seconded the motion because the three ministers do not deserve to serve the people of CES. The three ministers made a coordinated lie to the August House and the committee, so we are not compromising with the three ministers,” said James.

He cited that the motion will determine whether the MPs are truly representing people’s rights and properties.

But the chief whip for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement party, Jacob Aligo Lo-Lado, objected to the impeachment motion, citing that the committee has brought nothing new before the House.

“I raise to pass this contrary motion; first of all, the mover of this motion did not produce us any evidence apart from what the committee presented to this House, which the House deliberated on and passed,” he added, “unless we want to do what the house has done.”

MP. Lo-Lado stressed that the House should not do selective justice, pointing an accusing finger at some members of parliament for allegedly being involved in the Juba commercial land scandal.

“According to our constitution, Art. 114.1, ‘the state legislative assembly may pass a vote of no confidence against the minister,’” he noted.

“With this provision, when you were announcing the quorum, you said it’s 82, and by the detection of this provision of the constitution, we will not proceed to pass this motion because we did not attain 100% attendance,” Lo-Lado argued.

According to those supporting the contrary motion, the quorum of attendance must be 100 percent.

The boisterous but peaceful debate kicked off. As some members said, since the quorum at the commencement of the sitting was 84, they are the majority, adding that it’s not necessary for the required number to be 100%.

“There is no way in this August House that members can be 100, whether you like it or not,” Khamis James interjected.

In his explanation, the House legal advisor said, “First, we have two motions before us: the impeachment motion and the contrary motion. So, it’s time now to adopt one of these motions.”

“About the quorum, you have 100 members, then the two-third majority—you divide 100 into three, and the majority that can vote is 60 members to legalize a vote of no confidence,” he added.

As a result, CES Assembly Speaker Peter Wani Kulang suggested secret voting to allow the House to pick between the two motions.

“What the legal advisor has said here is what I, the Speaker, will go with; we go and divide the house for adoption, and it’s going to be in a secret vote,” ruled Speaker Kulang.

However, that annoyed the SPLM ship whip, who accused the speaker of being part of the conspiracy. An accusation the speaker denied vehemently as he demanded Lo-Lado withdraw his statement.

When the House broke in preparation for voting, the majority of SPLM members, among others, left without return in a move that seemed to frustrate casting a vote of no confidence, as the house would not achieve the required quorum.

But one legislator said the debate should continue because, at the start, the quorum was 84 members.

“I think there is no need for us to vote for this motion because the contrary motion automatically lost the member who raised the motion, and the seconders all walked away. So, I suggest we continue and adopt the impeachment motion,” he said.

Another MP said the quorum at the start of the session, which was 84, validated the continuity of the session.

Thereafter, the remaining 43 MPs continued with thorough deliberations and adopted the motion, pending a vote of no confidence against three state officials coming Wednesday.

That prompted the House speaker, Peter Wani Kulang, to adjourn the session until today Wednesday morning.

“Therefore, we adjourn this sitting, although we have adopted the impeachment motion to go and make further consultations so that when we come back, we can collaborate together,” he said.

An impeachment is the process by which a legislature may bring charges against an officeholder for misconduct alleged to have been committed with a penalty of removal.

The Genesis

In a letter addressed to the governor, Adil Anthony, dated March 8 and seen by this outlet, Viana Kakuli, the state minister of finance, appealed to the governor to approve the exchange to allow her docket to continue giving services.

Mrs. Kakuli, in a purported document, said the Quick Global firm will give her docket five (5) Toyota Hardtops Land Cruisers and an amount of 100,000 US dollars in exchange for the construction of a new office building.

Comments are closed.