JUBA – The designated Chairperson of Information at South Sudan Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) Paul Yoane Bonju has threatened to sue any media house found reporting on emoluments of lawmakers.
Speaking during a press conference on Saturday in Juba, Bonju warned that reporting on financial transactions in the house without consulting relevant departments would not be tolerated.
“Reporting on emoluments of the members of the parliament without the consent from Rt. Hon. Speaker or Rt. Hon. Deputy Speaker in charge of administration and finance would not be entertained, surely it would attract stern legal procedures against whoever is involved,” Bonju told reporters at Saturday press conference in Juba.
“It has never happened in any part of the world that media houses focus on emoluments of members of parliament. Emoluments of MPs are not collected from an illegal source,” Bonju added.
He said that MPs have the right to be paid emoluments as enshrined in the Transitional Constitution of 2011.
“Making such exercise in a country like South Sudan implies antagonizing the public against their representatives with adverse consequences,” he said.
The designated chair of information said any failure to adhere to this warning may risk revoking the licenses of media houses implicated in such act.
“Any media house that is interested to go that way should be reminded that it is hurriedly working to have its license withdrawn. We don’t intend to reach that far unless provoked,” he said.
On 31 August, media houses quoted the Speaker of Parliament; Jemma Nunu Kumba directing MPs to open bank accounts ahead of plans to pay them huge sums of money to kick start their work in the august house.
According to Kumba, opening the accounts will allow for channeling the MPs’ emoluments as quickly as possible.
Last month, President Salva Kiir Mayardit authorized the payment of at least 2500 United States Dollars to each member of the recently reconstituted transitional national legislature as settlement fees, amid hunger, insecurity and a devastating flood that has displaced hundreds of thousands of the country’s population.