President Salva Kiir has blamed the Ministry of Finance for failing to pay salaries of civil servants despite making several promises to clear the arrears.
In May, the Council of Ministers directed Minister Salvatore Garang to clear all unpaid salaries for the civil servants.
But by July, the Minister had not paid the monies.
In reaction, members of parliament threatened to impeach him over the unpaid salaries and failure to account for the past fiscal year budget.
As a result, Salvatore told the media that he would clear the arrears in two weeks.
But the time elapsed and the civil servants hadn’t been paid their salaries, prompting some MPs to ask for his removal from office.
The MPs then asked the President to fire Salvatore Garang Mabior for failing to fulfil his pledges.
The President, however, failed to publicly react or fire Salvatore Garang.
But in his remarks to the members of the national parliament on Tuesday, President Kiir acknowledge the grievances of the MPs.
He criticized Salvatore Garang for doing nothing to meet the demands of the public.
“The Ministry of Finance never obeys its promises,” said Kiir. “But I commit the government to make necessary arrangements to expedite the payment of all outstanding emoluments of the honorable members, constitutional post-holders and the civil servants.”
But a civil society activist is calling on President Salva Kiir to exercise his constitutional authority over the Ministry of Finance.
According to the constitution, the Ministers of the National Government are appointed and removed from office by the President.
President Kiir is the supervisor of constitutional and executive institutions and is expected by law to provide exemplary leadership in public affairs.
Rajab Muhandis, who is the executive director for the Organization for Responsive Governance, says the President should not entertain any minister who fails to diligently perform their duties.
“He should have held the minister accountable because the minister is answerable to him. I think putting the blame on the minister doesn’t make sense of collective responsibility in addressing the issues of the country.”
Government employees, especially the soldiers, police and teachers, are reportedly living in squalid conditions as the government spends lots of money on weapons. Recent report shows that President Kiir himself is amassing wealth through foreign businesspeople.
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