26th October 2020
Make a Donation

Gov’t asked to end illegal checkpoint menace

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Soldiers manning a checkpoint along Juba-Nimule rd | File photo

A civil society organization has called on the government to crack down on illegal checkpoints that are said to be contributing to corruption and tax leakages.

According to the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) there are more than 56 illegal checkpoints across the country.

“We have over 56 checkpoints that are collecting money within the country and a truck driver is forced to pay over 100,000 Pounds from Juba to Abyei,” Edmund Yakani, executive director of CEPO, told Eye Radio on Tuesday.

In 2017, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to South Sudan said poor road networks and multiple checkpoints were hindering speedy delivery of humanitarian assistance to the needy population across the country.

Also in March 2020, the army spokesperson warned unauthorized individuals or soldiers who have put up illegal checkpoints within Juba of serious consequences.

Maj.-Gen. Lul Ruai’s warning came after some soldiers allegedly mounted illegal checkpoints along the Juba – Yei road, next to Seven House and Imatong Gas depot.

Some eyewitnesses, who spoke to Eye Radio, identified the men as members of the Presidential Guards, Tiger, and other SSPDF soldiers because of the uniform they wore.

According to the law, it is not the role of the army to impose or collect any form of taxes or fine.

“This issue is making the government raise little non-oil revenues, because the institutions that are tasked with collecting revenues are using revenues at the point of collection,” Yakani asserted.

“They don’t remit these monies to single block account.”

In response to the outcries, President Salva Kiir in 2018 ordered for closure of all illegal checkpoints.

But Yakani says the directive largely remained unimplemented in many parts of the country.

Recently, the President fired the minister of finance and planning, commissioner general of the National Revenue Authority and the head of the state-run oil firm, Nilepet, over reported mismanagement of funds.

Their firing was recommended by the economic crisis management committee after it found out that their dockets were losing lots of money.

Support Eye Radio, the first independent radio broadcaster of news, information & entertainment in South Sudan.

Make a monthly or a one off contribution.