JUBA, OCTOBER 4, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan lawmakers on Wednesday afternoon urged the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission to jail government officials who are stealing public funds or abusing their power.
The calls from members of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) come as the house passes the Anti-Corruption act, amendment bill 2023.
Zachariah Matur, a member of parliament representing Rumbek Center on the ticket of the ruling SPLM faction, called on the agency to regulate malpractices in public institutions to ensure smooth running of government institutions.
“Mr. Speaker, I am very much concerned about the silence of the Anti-Corruption Commission especially in areas of reporting. We don’t what is going on in our country in terms of corruption,” Matur said during deliberation on the Anti-Corruption Bill 2023 on Wednesday.
He claimed the anti-corruption commission is not doing enough to fight corruption in the country and said there is need for corrupt government officials to be prosecuted in a competent court of law in order for the agency to win parliament’s support.
“This is because they have been complaining that they don’t have teeth and now today, we are fixing teeth onto their mouth and we want to see that they will be biting people, those people who are corrupt in our country,” he said.
“We want to see people put in jail because of corruption and this has been a real issue in our country and if you can’t do it, you come back to us for support,” he added.
Peter Lomude Francis, a lawmaker representing Yei River State on the ticket of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), stressed the need to empower anti-graft with the power of prosecution to do its work better.
“I agreed with my colleagues that in this country, there are a lot of corruption cases, and they have to go to court to be tried. I personally believe that it is important to empower this commission with the power of prosecution so that they will be able to deal with cases of corruption,” Lomude he said.
Meanwhile, John Agany Deng, an SPLM legislator representing Aweil East County of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, said constitutional post-holders are educating themselves on how to be corrupt by reading a book entitled ‘It is my turn to eat.’
“It shouldn’t be my turn to eat, and it is not my turn to develop my people and we don’t see it is enough, I have eaten enough,” said Agany.
He said corrupt officials accused of embezzling millions of dollars are not prosecuted but instead are promoted from one position to another.
“You will find somebody who has been embezzling some millions of dollars some years ago is shifted to another position which will allow him or her to do more in the chain of corruption,” he said.