Juba, South Sudan,
June 30, 2021 – The East African Community is expected to pay a whopping $1.6 million to members of the East African Legislative Assembly in sitting allowances for events held virtually amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
The development comes after South Sudan’s final vote of approval for the payment of Daily Subsistence Allowances and sitting allowances that have accumulated over a period of one year.
According to a statement seen by Nyamilepedia, South Sudan and Burundi had initially incurred no costs as the two countries conducted parliamentary businesses virtually from their respective locations.
Speaking to the media after a parliamentary session Monday, Ayason Mukulia Kennedy, South Sudan elected member in the East African Legislative said the allowances accumulated due to late remittances and non-remittance by some member states.
“The members demanded one million six hundred and sixty-six thousand for a period of over one year that they have conducted while converging ministries of the EAC affairs in their various capitals,” he said.
“This was accrued based on what the pandemic COVID-19 has done and also late remittances or non-remittance from partner states and that’s why they accrued all these finances that the community has to pay for the work that they have done,” he added.
Deng Dut Gatkek Thomas [pictured], another South Sudanese legislator in the East African parliament said member states, including Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda had submitted their vote of no objection to clear the allowances.
“If you could recall from 2019 to 2020 when the pandemic wrecked and affected communities, parliament decided to go and conduct its activities virtually. In that regard, it was having an impact on the activities of parliament,” Gatkek said. “
“But during our discussion, the issue of members’ welfare is also passed between us and members of the council. And today [Tuesday], you could see there was a delivery of letters from member states, letters of no objection because the whole council has agreed to take care of the members,” the legislator added.
Gatkek said the supplementary budget for the allowances was already approved by lawmakers after the unilateral agreement.
“And you could see things are moving. You see, when you motivate the parliament things work because these are the lawmakers who are actually behind the passing of the laws and they need to be taken care of. So this is what has happened today [Tuesday] and we have passed the supplementary budget,” he said.