JUBA – South Sudan’s civil society watchdog, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), is demanding transparency over the collection of personal income tax (PIT) in the states as the country prepares for the sixth governors forum.
South Sudan on November 22 is holding its sixth governors’ forum in which the event will discuss important issues being faced by the states ranging from insecurity, flooding and the downtrend of the economic situation in the world’s youngest country.
In a statement extended to Sudans Post, CEPO welcomed the planned governors’ forum, but deplored that outcome of the previous forum was not implemented by the state governments which, saying the state governors should have focused on the implementation of the resolutions of the previous meeting.
“The country on 22nd November 2022 will be witnessing 6th forum of states governors and chief administrators (6th Governors Forum) of the administrative areas with the national government. This forum is an annual forum that bring the states and administrative areas and central governments leaders together to discuss matters relate to states and administrative areas government performance and inter-linkages with the central government. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization appreciates the holding of the forum annually,” CEPO said.
Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of CEPO, said among the recommendations of the previous meeting, only the state governments have implemented the personal income tax which he said has however been implemented in a way that lacks transparency.
“The enforcement of the outcomes of the last year’s 5th Governors forum recommendations was total below expectations. The only recommendation takes up seriously by the state governors and chief administrators was the recommendation on Personal Income Tax (PIT) collection. But the implementation of the PIT recommendation was absolute abused (corrupted) by some states governors and chief administrators. So in this 6th Governors Forum it is essential that central government concerned authorities demand states governors and chief administrators transparent report on the PIT collection and usage,” Yakani said.
“The recommendations around political stability at the states and administrative areas, peace and security for individual and communities, human resources development and economic, return of schools land taken or given to investors and individuals, regulate movement of cattle to avoid conflict between pastoralists and farmers among others were not delivered by the concerned state governors and chief administrators. Presidency should ensure that event of the Governors and chief Administrators should not end up as “Annual Political Tourism” for states governors, Chief administrators and central government leaders because the implementation of the 5th Governors recommendations was almost zero,” he stressed.
The CEPO further called “upon the political leaders at states, administrative areas and central government to take serious responsibility for utilizing the forum for bringing positive change to the lives of our citizens at states and administrative areas levels. Among key decisions that CEPO expect to be taken serious by the 6th Governor forum are; regulation of cattle movement, proper use of PIT, return of schools and youth lands given to investors; deadly communal violence mitigation, floods responses and presidency instructions on opening of political and civic space among others.
“In Special call, CEPO is urging the State Governors and Chief Administrators to endorse our campaign for our government to commit for promotion and protection of the rights of Persons with Disabilities at states, administrative areas and central governments
“Finally, CEPO is urging the presidency to ensure that the 6th Governors Forum outcomes are taken serious by the political leaders at central, states and chief administrative areas.”