By Dr. Sunday de John
Public Order No 3/2021 of March, 2021 issued by one Hussein Abdelbagi of the National Taskforce is faulty under all laws of South Sudan!
While the task-force has a mandate to discharge its stipulated responsibilities, it has fallen short of achieving certain parameters in the past and is now at wrong because its operations and including levying fines against offenders are all based on no law.
A competent task-force should draw its workings on existing law. There is no any quotation of the law anywhere and the fines that were indicated in the precariously written document signed by Abdelbagi are but exploitation of the citizens.
Knowing that the ignorance of the citizens on the said matter is high, the said task-force could have embarked on educating the public on the pandemic and couldn’t have opted to bank on this widespread lack of knowledge of the citizens on Covid-19 by putting traps for a possible self-enrichment by the said entity through illegally drawn fines.
Sound entities cannot make laws and enforce them on the same day. Citizens need to know about these first. Not all citizens of the South Sudan that can read the said measures and it is not all of the Juba residence that view the SSBC either.
Several rural people do not benefit from such writings and measures as directed and the subsequent fines are but extreme burdening of the innocent citizens that must have been first subjected to health awareness and its resulting benefits.
Instead of levying hefty fines on the already suffering citizens and with hope of transfer of such money to task-force’s account, it is the Ministry of Health that should break the bank and use the COVID-19 fund appropriately.
Citizens must not be slammed with heavy fines, they need education on the pandemic. It is inevitable that there will be violations to the said drawn measures because studies conducted if any have not considered the plight of the citizens. Not your citizens before writing nonsense.
The document or the very Abdelbagi has authorized for extortion of cash from the public through shoddy measures in the name of the pandemic.
At the document’s conclusion, Mr. Abdelbagi even authorized what he referred to as competent courts and the police to enforce fines without considering the fact that fines are arrived at only through trial by established courts of competent jurisdictions.
How will such trials happen? Could they not be public gathering which is against the guidelines? What could have been the mechanisms used to arrive at the figures of the fines? Damn foolish! What is the function of the judiciary under which the said competent courts fall if they would be instructed by a mere task-force?
I am not against any health measures but those measures that do not consider the plights and statuses of the citizens are but meant for extortion. South Sudanese don’t even get paid their enumerations, where does this Abdelbagi expect money to come from? Fall from heavens? Nonsense!
Dr. Sunday de John Chairman, South Sudan United Front-Progressive(SSUF-P).