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Parliament urged to deepen probe into alleged diversion of peace fund

Author: Moyo Jacob Felix | Published: June 8, 2024

Ter Manyang, the Executive Director of the Juba-based Center for Peace and Advocacy or CPA - COURTESY

A civil society activist appeals to the parliament to appoint an independent auditor to deepen investigation into the diversion of about 10 million US Dollars meant to facilitate the peace institutions.

Ter Manyang, the Executive Director for Centre for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) was reacting to the parliament’s summon of Cabinet Minister Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro on Thursday.

The summon was prompted by a petition to the parliament in late April 2024 by the beneficiary institutions regarding the payment.

When questioned about the fund’s whereabout, Dr Lumoro confirmed having received over 15 billion South Sudanese pounds, but said the money was channeled to special projects in the Office of the President.

The minister said the finance was used to facilitate a peace agreement with NAS, and hire a foreign lawyer to clear the image of South Sudan on past cases including the 2016 terrain incident.

In an interview with Eye Radio, Activist Manyang urged the parliament to contract an independent auditor to investigate and obtain more details on the fund diversion.

“CPA is deeply concerned about the misuse of $10 million without specific explanations given by the minister,” Manyang said.

“We are calling on the national parliament to appoint an independent auditor to get more information because the information given yesterday by the minister is not convincing even the public has lots of questions.”

The TNLA directed the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs to fully pay all allocations due to the beneficiary institutions and peace implementation mechanisms as requested by the Ministry of Finance, without further delay.

The parliament made several recommendation, including calling on the executive to adhere to the Public Finance Management and Accountability Act 2011, including ensuring no diversion or misappropriation of funds once approved and paid to spending agencies.

It further pointed out that the Cabinet Ministry has no authority to unilaterally divert funds meant for peace institutions and peace implementation mechanisms, as such would contravene financial regulations and the Public Finance Management and Accountability Act.

The parliamentary committee meeting was chaired by the First Deputy Speaker Oyet Nathaniel with chairpersons of Finance and Economic Planning, and the Public and Account Committees alongside the members of the respective committees.

 

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