22 May 2018

 

Law Makers And NGOs In Yei Trade Accusations Over Lack Of Transparency

Law makers in Yei River State are accusing non-governmental organizations operating in the area over corruption, recruitment of foreign nationals, duplication of services and failure to comply with government rules and regulations.

Law Makers And NGOs In Yei Trade Accusations Over Lack Of Transparency
MP Daniel Lokoroto (L) making a presentation in a parliamentary session [Gurtong photo|Daniel Friday]

By Daniel Friday Martin

YEI, 06 May 2018 [Gurtong]-Daniel Lokoroto Arama, chairperson of the committee for public service and economic development says NGOs are squandering resources without tangible impact on the expenses of the vulnerable communities.

In a motion deliberated by 18 members of parliament in Yei, the lawmakers say there are exercising their oversight responsibility on checks and balances on both government and non-governmental institutions operating in the State for the common good of the citizens.

According to the lawmakers, access to information is a constitutional right to fight corruption and advances public transparency and accountability in both the government and the private sectors.

MP.Loroto says there are several NGOs operating in Yei town with less impact on the communities.

Loroto accused the NGOs for failing to share their programs with State government. He says NGOs want to direct the government towards meeting their own plans instead of implementing programs designed by the people at the grass root.

 “We are interested to see that the government tells the NGOs operating in the State what to do but not NGOs coming to tell the government on what they want to do. If this issue is not addressed with seriousness, we are likely to lose services from the NGOs and the resources contributed by the donors meant to support our people in the situation they are in will have disappointing outcomes” he said.

Esther Sadia is an MP for Yei County. She says there are several brief case NGOs operating in hotels in Yei town without reaching to the communities.

Sadia accused some NGOs of nepotism and failure to follow the South Sudan employment policies.

“They (NGOs) cannot operate as if there is no government, NGOs are employing foreigners to an extent of unclassified staff such as cleaners and accountants while we have all these qualified human resources in our country. The other thing is that there is nepotism by our national NGOs where if the Human resource manager comes from a particular tribe, you will see the whole tribe dominating that organization” Sadia Lamented.

She blames NGOs for duplicating services and exhausting activity budgets on workshops at the end of the year without addressing real issues affecting communities around Yei River area.
Robert Lomude is an MP for Mukaya County. Robert blamed the executive and the parliament for its own ignorance and reluctance to monitor and work closely with development partners in the State.

Robert says it’s the responsibility of the parliament to develop policies that regulate the operations of development partners. He stresses that NGOs not complying with government policies should be thrown out of Yei.

“Take for instance in Kenya and Uganda, NGOS are not free to operate, they have to submit a memorandum of understanding to the government. We are the lawmakers we need to stand up and put correct systems in place and for those NGOs not abiding with us should pack and leave Yei” Robert stressed.

The lawmakers formed a seven member committee tasked with a responsibility to investigate NGO profiles, composition of workforce, areas of operation and to report back to parliament within two weeks.

Justas Lugala heads the South Sudan health association. Lugala also blamed the parliament for not sharing information with its executive counterpart. He says his organization shares program data and budgets with its line ministries.

“I would say this claim should not be put in a blanket form because not all NGOs don’t share programs and budgets with them, our plans and budgets are shared with the ministry of health, the fact that we need to recruit people from South Sudan, we have about 150 staff and 90 % of them are from South Sudan” Said Lugala.

Dara Elisa works as the program manager for the United Methodist Committee on relief based in Yei River State.

Dara says his organization works in close coordination with the State and County agriculture departments. Dara also denied the parliament’s allegations that organizations don’t employ South Sudanese.

 “We share our budgets with the line ministry of agriculture and fisheries including details of project documents. For instance, UMCOR has huge operations in Yei and 80% of the workers are nationals and we are adhering to the Relief and Rehabilitation bill and if this is happening some where I am not aware about it” Dara added.





 

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