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JUBA CITY - 16 Sep 2023

Legislator demands investigation into foreign assets owned by govt officials

A member of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) on Tuesday called for government officials who own assets in foreign countries to be investigated, saying they were proceeds of corruption.

Nyibol Bol Matiop who represents Tonj North County in Warrap State accused some government officials of being involved in illicit businesses and graft instead of delivering services to the citizenry.

According to the legislator, the Conduct of Business of Parliament does not allow top government officials to get involved in government contracts to mitigate corruption. Bol however faulted the majority of ministers for being involved in corrupt deals and pilfering public funds.

“In the Conduct of Business, only ordinary members are allowed to do business but not ministers, chairpersons, or their deputies,” she charged. “But now, ministers are in control of everything including signing of deals and contracts.”

Bol made the call on the same day the House was deliberating on the Anticorruption Commission 2009 Act (Amendment) Bill 2023.

She alleged that many enterprises, Freedom Hall where the TNLA momentarily sits, are owned by government officials who send money to their families domiciled outside the country. 

“Any minister that is not working, there’s no need to attend cabinet meetings. We are saying all this today but most of them are not even here. Today is a day for ministers to be in parliament but you find them busy going to Dubai, South Africa as if they are ministers of those countries,” she said. “They do not even go to their constituencies. They do not have homes in their villages but build homes in East Africa.”

Bol urged parliament to form a committee to investigate top government officials whose homes are out of the country to establish their source of wealth.

“Once a new minister is appointed, the first thing they do is buy a house in the UK, America, and Singapore,” she said. “These homes must be investigated. We shall from a committee in parliament to make sure the findings are documented.”

Bol also slammed the country’s leadership for appointing corrupt people in high positions, saying even people who are sacked, are returned to high positions.