House rent allowance: A potential corruption in
By Raan Naath,
Not long ago that the South Sudan government in Juba passed a resolution directing the ministry of finance to pay 12 months of house rent allowance to all the civil servants from grades 1 to 17 starting from January this year. Civil servants have been struggling to find places to stay as house rents in Juba in particular and
in general are getting more expensive in urban areas. This was a welcome decision that would help change their living conditions. The cabinet decision was broadcasted on TV, Radio and published in newspapers including electronic media.
It is now the end of November and therefore the year 2009 is only one month away before it ends. The ministry of finance has not yet released the money to the respective ministries and independent institutions to pay the staff as directed by the cabinet.
What people have recently learnt is that some ministries are being selectively provided with cash by the finance ministry to pay their staff while other ministries are denied the money. It is said that the ministry of finance tells other ministries to pay their staff from any left over money from their 2009 budgets. In some ministries senior grades are being paid leaving out the junior grades.
How come the government gave false hope to its citizens to pay them their money only to end up in confusion or deliberate tactics by the same government to eat their money? The ruling SPLM party leaders should not forget that this is elections year and should change from their usual greed of eating public money without conscience.
House rent allowances are a different budget and should not be paid from what the ministry of finance calls any leftovers from the ministries budgets. Leaving it to the mercy of any leftovers is unwise decision by the finance ministry. They should have secured the funds separately for the purpose. And if the money is already there as many close to the finance ministry believe, then the money should be paid to all the ministries so that the staff are paid their twelve months. Now they talk of leftover money. Where does this leftover money come from? Was the money not budgeted for projects that should have been implemented? And what if some ministries do not have the leftovers? From which money would they pay their staff?
It is believed that corrupt minds are at play to try to eat this located public money. Their tactic is believed to push the issue to the end of the year and then surprisingly close the government accounts until next year. In this way and as usual for the last 5 years of SPLM‚Äôs ruled GOSS, the money disappears into big pockets and never to resurrect in the next budget. The government then starts to financially operate from the next year‚Äôs fresh budget. No any accounts for the monies that were in the bank during the year‚Äôs closure. There is nothing called auditing of accounts in
. And this always leaves the big fish to see the year‚Äôs end as a chance to run away with money.
But this year should be treated differently by the SPLM. It is elections year. Continuing to eat public money and not paying the civil servants their dues of house rent allowances will politically harm the SPLM. Salva Kiir as the President of South Sudan should follow up the matter very closely with the ministry of finance to release the money. Not only with the ministry of finance, there are also individual ministries that will receive money from the finance but sit on them with the corrupt purpose to loot them. Kiir should make sure that all the ministries pay their staff all their due twelve months from January to December even if it means contributing the money from their fat private bank accounts. They are actually public accounts turned private.