Opposition leader slams lawmakers for paying themselves as people starves to death

South Sudanese MPs stand during a parliamentary session in Juba on August 31, 2011 where the ruling party used its huge majority to approve a new cabinet over opposition objections that the number of ministers was beyond the means of the world’s newest nation. (Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)

January 30th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A South Sudan opposition leader has slammed the country’s lawmakers who paid themselves huge money last week saying the distribution of money among the elites tells how leaders don’t care for their people.

South Sudan lawmakers last week were given 1.6 million pounds or $5,500 each shortly before they go on recess. The money, according to the lawmakers were given to them to use it in travels meant for peace dissemination.

Last year, the South Sudan government gave the lawmakers $18 million bonus to spend on cars and housing. The grand sparked international criticism against Kiir’s government which got new term renewal from the MPs few days early.

In an exclusive interview with the Nyamilepedia on Tuesday, Suzanne Jambo, leader of non-armed opposition South Sudan STEPS Towards Peace and Democracy, said she disagree with the MPs paying themselves while almost everyone in the country is hungry.

“In principle I totally disagree with payments to politicians, especially law-makers as members of parliament in South Sudan today. We have to truly see the current situation which has been [ongoing] since the war broke out in 2013,” she said.

“We have millions of displaced persons, refugees and almost the entire nation of South Sudan is hungry today,” she added.

She said while the MPs keep rewarding themselves with public money, everywhere in the country including the capital Juba is hungry, something she attributed to the civil war and corruption by government officials.

“If you look at the capital Juba itself there is hunger, the economy has almost completely collapsed due to the war, corruption and high inflation of the South Sudanese Pound,” she said.

She said for the government rewarding politicians and ignoring civilians welfare, it means it has forgotten its roles towards the citizens including giving food to the people of South Sudan.

“Giving money to law-makers instead of for example giving it in humanitarian services to starving people in greater Upper Nile or Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal does not make any sense at all,” she said.

The government has forgotten its role to ensure food for the citizens. Leaving it (food delivery) to international aid agencies and local NGOs is painful to observe in South Sudan,” she added.