By Aweye Teddy Onam
Specialized committee for national security and public order at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) is set to grill the Director General of Traffic Police.
Major Gen. Kon John Akot is arraigned to appear before the committee on Thursday over serious matters of public concern.
The specialized committee summoned Gen. Akot, along with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Assistant IGP for Traffic Police.
“It is my pleasure to invite you, IGP, Assistant IGP for Traffic, and Director General of Traffic Police, Major Gen. Kon John Akot, to answer the concerns from the committee of National Security and Public Order, such as” the summons letter seen by this outlet partly read.
A recent tax introduced on motorists entering and exiting the country’s border, is among key concerns of the committee.
“The introduction of the standing order and declaration of the new charges against the travelers’, motorists, and traffic violations by the Director General of Traffic… (c) His conduct towards the lawmakers,” the letter added.
Other issue to grill the traffic boss over include an utterance last month, in which the Director General of Traffic Police referred to the current parliament as “illegal and illegitimate.”
The remark caught public attention and went viral, angering lawmakers.
“The statement that was made on social media by Major Gen. Kon John Akot on October 13, 2023, for referring to the parliament as “illegal and illegitimate,” the statement continued.
Legislators have sharpened their tools to grill the traffic boss, Gen. Akot, in the assembly business committee meeting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the RTNLA, John Agany Deng recently slammed Gen. Akot for his derogatory utterance against the reconstituted national parliament.
He said the parliament is the legitimate body that makes the laws of the country, describing the remark of the Director General of Traffic Police as an insult to the parliament.
“He has no right to insult the national parliament, which is the third arm of the government,” Agany blasted.
The lawmaker argued that the “mocked parliament” is the very institution that amended the constitution, paving the way for the operation of the traffic police directorate.
The assembly spokesperson earlier warned that the traffic chief won’t escape from the hands of the lawmakers as he will be questioned to present facts about his argument and mockery.
The genesis of the matter seems to have stemmed from an August motion passed by the Assembly for the issuance of permanent logbooks, contrary to the yearly renewed ones.
The parliament also ruled out the directorate of traffic police from the production and issuance of logbooks and driving licenses.
According to the Parliament, the responsibility for the production and issuance of logbooks lies with the Ministry of Transport, not the Interior Ministry.
However, the director general of traffic police, Maj. Gen. Kon John, was not comfortable with the decision of the Legislative Assembly.
He became furious and disagreed with the resolution of the parliament on logbooks, relocating the responsibilities to the transport ministry.
“Lawmakers are interfering in traffic police affairs, and they are not technical people, and they don’t know anything about it,” Akot argued at that time.
He insisted it is the role of the traffic police to ensure the inspection of all cars and issue necessary documents according to what the law says.
“When you bring a car for renewal, we do a lot of things before logbook renewal, and there is money collected by the revenue authority of the country,” he said.
He maintained that parliament was interfering with the work of traffic police.
Another lawmaker, Moch Rech Tang, a member of the specialized committee for security, said the house plays roles beyond the generals.
“The attitude of the director general of traffic police makes me question if he is a military general in the police who went through training. How did he come into that high-ranking position?” Rech queried.
He questioned whether the traffic police director general underwent in-depth training, claiming his unprofessional attitude towards parliament and his behavior would not have been abnormal if he had undergone professional military training.
“He should know how the government works as a result of the peace agreement. There is nothing called an illegitimate parliament,” he defended their legitimacy.
He said the security committee has pledged to intensify action against General Akot for his unprofessional mockery of parliament.
“We have that on the table that he will come to us to answer,” said MP Moch, whose earlier words are coming to pass.
Meanwhile, on the other hand, the Director General for Traffic Police recently ordered the collection of 20,000 South Sudanese pounds from business vehicles entering and exiting the country.
As the order takes effect, business vehicles have suspended their operations between South Sudan and Uganda, calling for a need to reduce taxes.
Traffic police at Nimule have reported that a large number of business vehicles are currently parked at the yards, awaiting a resolution to their plight.