National, News

MPs demand answers to currency decline

By Bida Elly David


As the South Sudanese Pounds continue to depreciate further against US dollars, lawmakers at the Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) are demanding answers from concerned financial institutions.

No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper established on Monday, foreign exchange rate rising up with $1 selling at SSP 3,500 while buying at SSP 3,000 in the parallel market.

Nathalina Omjuma Malek, an MP under the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) ticket, stressed alarming concerns over the staggering economy, with citizens struggling to make ends meet.

“The rate of this dollar is now SSP 300,000 per $100; what I am seeing is that individuals are the ones controlling the market, and most of the benefits go to them,” she alleged.

In comparison, the official exchange rate of the central bank stands at $1, selling for SSP 1,582 and buying for SSP 1,535.

Mrs. Nathalina claimed that the government of national unity has been overshadowed by businessmen and women who control the country’s economy.

“If the economy can now be controlled by individuals, especially market prices, it means that the system is not in place. This is because economic transactions are supposed to be controlled by the government to benefit everybody,” she stated.

The lawmaker noted that centralizing the market system would have been the only remedy for the ailing economy, adding that there is nothing materializing from the authority.

“If we allow this market to be operated freely by individuals, the economy will worsen since prices of goods have shot higher with serious price discrimination,” she added.

On his part, Samuel Bakuri Loti, a lawmaker representing Torit County from the SSOA, also backed Nathalina’s arguments on the derailing economy, saying the parliament has the upper hand in summoning the concerned authorities for questioning.

Bakuri underlined that, as the citizens decry the economic hardship, lawmakers are also not enjoying their privileges as stated in the emolument act, yet they are representatives of the people.

He questioned the assembly administration on why their privileges and civil servant salaries are not released to help cushion them in such a catastrophic situation.

“It is indeed true that our citizens and we are suffering while the authority sleeps; prices have really been on the rise. According to the suggestions by one of the members, this needs us to go to the street,” Bakuri submitted.

He, however, noted that the honorable member who suggested the need for people to go on street protests has been summoned by national security for interrogation.

“This was what happened inside this house since all of us have all the rights to say what we want to say but not to be perpetrated,” he said.

“We need to make it clear that anything we discuss in this house shouldn’t be turned around and later against us.”

He stressed that MPs speak for the people and are representatives of their people, so they have all the rights to do so.

Victor Omuho, a lawmaker representing Eastern Equatoria State under the SPLM docket, stated that it has now been two years since they were promised to be paid their car loans.

“As the citizens suffer, we, the MPs, are also suffering. What has the parliament done in regards to Section 20 of the Emolument Act, which says a loan of a car for MPs to the R-TNLA and the Council of States shall be equivalent to $50,000?” he said.

He stressed that it’s the mandate of the assembly administration to push the ministry of finance to release civil servant salaries and lawmakers privileges, respectively.

Rt. Hon. Parmena Awerial, the second deputy speaker of the assembly who presided over the Monday sitting, stated that the house has noted the appeals from the MPs saying the concerned ministers will be summoned for question sessions.


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