February 14, 2017 (JUBA) - Two million South Sudan Pounds (SSP), according to an official, was stolen from the Council of States, the upper house of South Sudan’s national assembly.
- President Salva Kiir Mayardit speaks to the National Legislature on the occasion of the inauguration of the three years extension of his mandate, on July 8, 2015 (Photo Moses Lomayat)
Joseph Bol Chan, the Council of States speaker told Sudan Tribune that the theft occurred from office on 12 February, despite tight security at the premise.
“It is unfortunate to say two Million South Sudanese pounds have been stolen from the Council of States on Sunday morning, the 12th February, 2017”, Chan said on Monday.
The speaker said two security guards were arrested and are being investigated.
The money, Chan said, was to cater for the reception of his Sudanese counterpart, who visited Juba recently in response to an invitation extended to the Sudanese legislature.
This is the second time such an incident has occurred in the legislature after the first incident occurred in October last year. It however remains unclear what the probe committee found out and what actions have been taken.
Chan could not adequately explain when asked why such a huge sum of money was kept inside the office and not the bank, since a similar incident had occurred in the past.
Another MP said the house was forced to make a statement to avoid public outcry and because of the awareness on its negative implications on the house of representatives.
"An investigation was to be carried out in clandestineness, but we in the council said no. What has been lost is public money and the public ought to know what has happened so that they can judge”, Michael Lusike, the Council’s deputy head of information, said.
Lusike said he was disappointed when he discovered on Sunday morning that millions in cash money kept in the safe of the legislature had been stolen by unknown people.
South Sudan has been hit by allegations of corruption and mismanagement of public resources. In 2012, President Salva Kiir wrote to 75 of his officials asking them to return millions of stolen money, but no positive response has been publicly made known.