Feb 24, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) health workers in Northern Bahr el Ghazal have downed their tools to protest taxation on their National Social Insurance Funds (NSIF).
These employees say that MSF intends to tax 20% from their NSIF although the government and the National Revenue Authority (NRA) have assured them that the tax order is illegal.
According to the protesters’ representative, Deng Chan, the health workers want the decision reversed as the ministry of labour had approved payments without taxation.
“We are protesting the unreasonable taxation imposed by the National Revenue Authority on the National Social Security Insurance Fund (NSIF). In November 2020 the ministry of labour approved our money to be paid tax-free and then for reasons best known to MSF and the NRA, they came up with another document asking for the taxation of NSIF,” Deng Chan said.
“But when we went through the laws that are governing this institution, there is no single article talking about taxation on NSIF. We disputed this and we were told to follow this with our government. On the 25 of January 2020, we went to the state labour office of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State and we received a letter that our money would be paid tax-free.”
Deng said that MSF requested that they submit their pleas to NRA which were approved but MSF refused to honour that.
“The office finally decided that they will not respect decisions that are made by the state government that the state government has to speak to the NRA to write a uniform document asking for the payment of tax-free NSIF. However, this has brought confusion and we decided on strike,” Deng concludes.
Aweil Civil Hospital management confirmed the strike adding that the situation at the hospital is deplorable without health workers.
“The situation is deplorable. Of course, the MSF section used to treat children and pregnant mothers,” said Dr. Wol Wol Akeen, the Director for Aweil Civil Hospital.
The project coordinator for MSF in Northern Bahr al Ghazal State called upon complainers to express and peacefully advocate for their rights and cease any aggressive approach.
“I was once advocating for staff and I feel what you feel. I think you guys should all understand, don’t fight for your right with aggression,” Cyrus Paye pleaded.