The latest scandal involving Madam Jemma Nunu Kumba, the Hon. Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) in South Sudan, sent shockwaves through the nation’s legislative system the document seen by Thejubamirror news Desk.
The accusations leveled against the Speaker are grave, spanning from money crimes to transgressions of TNLA rules governing conduct of business.
A petition to effect a vote of no confidence has been filed against her as a consequence, and this puts her job in jeopardy.
The serious accusations made against Madam Jemma Nunu Kumba depict her as a Speaker who has abused her authority and used her position for personal benefit.
One of the most heinous accusations is that she committed financial offenses like fraud, embezzlement, corruption, and money laundering. According to the allegations, she authorized the withdrawal of USD 1,594,073 without the House’s consent, and then sent Hon. Sandra Bona Malwal to transport the funds to Nairobi. The money was later seized by the National Security Services’ Financial Crime Unit at the Juba International Airport, but it was later released thanks to the Speaker’s direct intercession.
If these accusations are accurate, the Speaker would have violated his statutory obligations and committed a severe breach of confidence.
The theft of 12 million South Sudan Pounds in the names of South Sudanese legislators in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), which they refuted, is another charge leveled against Madam Jemma Nunu Kumba. If this accusation turns out to be accurate, it would be a blatant instance of theft and thus indicates that she has no respect for the confidence her fellow lawmakers have in her.
Further allegations have been made that the Speaker has engaged in fraud and forgery by ordering sitting allowances for two months from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning using the names of Hon. Members of TNLA, but later diverting the said sitting allowances on the grounds that the members of the TNLA were on recess and could not receive the money.
Hon. Members of the Council of States, however, were paid despite the fact that they were also on break.
The Speaker stole 123,200,000 South Sudan Pounds in sitting allowances that the Hon. members of the TNLA were due to receive over the course of two months.
This severe accusation raises the possibility of a pattern of conduct that transgresses the TNLA Conduct of Business Regulations.
One of the most startling accusations made against the Speaker is that she stole the entire pay for all Hon. Members and employees of the TNLA for the month of February 2023.
According to a report from the City Review Newspaper, the Speaker is accused of unlawfully using the salaries of TNLA MPs for personal benefit. This accusation is supported by the report.
As the Speaker tampered with Chapter 1 of the FY 2022/2023, which prescribes that wages are personal property, she commits a very severe crime. Stealing fellow lawmakers’ wages is arguably the most severe breach of trust and obligation that can be committed.
Along with the aforementioned accusations, it is also claimed that the Speaker ignored the TNLA’s money management guidelines. For instance, it is claimed that the TNLA must spend at least $300,000 on each journey the Speaker or any other members of the Parliament make overseas.
Two such journeys were recently taken, one by the Rt. Hon. Speaker to Indonesia, which cost over $350,000 for only seven people under the Speaker’s leadership and another that involved participants in the East Africa Community Games and Sports who were traveling to Tanzania costing $ 400,000. These accusations imply a lack of accountability and transparency in the handling of public money.
The Speaker is also accused of violating the TNLA Conduct of Business Regulations and the Transitional Constitution Article 73.
Corrupt practices and their dominance in our political system have come under scrutiny as a result of the recent controversy involving the Hon. Speaker. This incident not only breaks the law but also shows a flagrant disdain for the president’s anti-corruption message of zero tolerance.
The very roots of any community are eaten away by corruption, which is like a cancer. It erodes confidence in organizations, threatens the rule of law, and restrains economic expansion.
It is a disease that permeates all spheres of society and needs to be eliminated through a coordinated effort. The idea of having zero tolerance for wrongdoing is crucial for this reason. It makes it abundantly obvious that corruption won’t be allowed and that those who partake in it will face consequences.
The acts of the Hon. Speaker clearly go against this rule. She has not only damaged public confidence in our institutions by participating in unethical behavior, but she has also created a risky precedent.
It conveys a message that corruption is acceptable and that the rule of law is not significant if those in places of authority are permitted to participate in corrupt activities without suffering any repercussions. This can have a terrible impact on society as a whole, deteriorating public confidence and encouraging more dishonesty.
In addition, the Hon. Speaker broke the law with her acts. Corrupt practices are against the law, and those who participate in them risk harsh penalties like fines and incarceration.
It is crucial that those who participate in dishonest behavior face consequences for their actions, both to prevent corruption in the future and to guarantee justice for those who have been harmed by it.
This controversy is all the worse because the Hon. Speaker is a prominent figure. Public servants have a huge obligation to uphold the interests of society and the people they represent. They violate this confidence and threaten the very basis of our democracy when they indulge in corrupt behavior.
This is why it is critical that public servants are held to a higher bar of responsibility and are given more of a thorough examination.
A crucial move in the battle against corruption is the president’s concept of “zero tolerance” for corruption. It conveys the word that corrupt behavior won’t be allowed and that offenders will face consequences.
It is necessary to put this concept into practice; it is not enough to merely talk about it.
Regardless of their position or standing, those who take part in unethical actions must be held responsible. To ensure that the rule of law is upheld and that misconduct does not spread throughout our community, this is crucial.
Last but not least, the current controversy involving the Hon. Speaker clearly contravenes both the law and the idea of zero tolerance for misconduct. It is crucial that those who participate in dishonest behavior face consequences for their actions, both to prevent corruption in the future and to guarantee justice for those who have been harmed by it.
Furthermore, rather than just being taught, the idea of zero tolerance for wrongdoing must be put into practice. We can only ensure that corruption doesn’t spread throughout our community by holding those who participate in it accountable.