Calls for community service high as Yei swears in councilors

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[Yei, South Sudan, TCT ]At least 30 municipal legislative councilors for Yei have been sworn in to offices, while leaders and citizens are call on the new members to work for the interest of the community.

Out of 35 councilors, 27 were sworn in on August 19 and three more on Wednesday September 9. Five additional councilors at large are expected to take their oaths of office.

Speaking at the induction ceremony, municipal mayor Santo Paul Lasuba warned the councilors to avoid putting self-interests ahead as they take the new mandate of delivering improved services to the citizens. He called the new legislators to coordinate their work with other arms of the government.

“My message is just one to you: let us not put self or personal interests in our service. Without cooperation, coordination and communication our work will not be well”, Mayor Santo told the councilors.

“You are the representatives of the people, the community and therefore let nobody come for his or her own interest”, he emphasized.

Among other areas of high concern, the mayor called on the citizens to work out by-laws to curb prostitution, prevent the spread of HIV and regulate discos and bars.

He further cautioned the councilors against negative influence of their respective communities to cause chaos, warning that instigators of such conflict would be discharged from their duties and the council.

The new councilors are expected to benefit from a five days capacity building training by Community Empowerment for progress organization-CEPO and another by AWEPA.

The first municipal legislative councilors were dismissed by former Central Equatoria State governor major general Clement Wani Konga in a decree followed by formation of new ones. The local government had been working with two arms of the government; judiciary and executive, drawing pressure calls from citizens, civil and community organizations for its reinstatement.

The councilors will have quarterly sittings to deliberate on the needs of the community, but will convene anytime in case of other emergencies, according to the municipal chief executive officer, Dimu Arre Mulla Saki.

“You are to sit quarterly a year, except in case of emergencies. When there is an emergency, such as outbreak of disease, insecurity and so on an extraordinary sitting can be called.” he told the new legislators.

Obech Denyong, Yei River County high class judge, led the swearing in ceremony and in a separate address tasked the councilors to work within their ethics and denounce involving in conflict instigating gatherings.

“Be exemplary to the community. Show your self control to the people you are serving and don’t enter into conflict”, he instructed.

Among the 30 councilors sworn into office, Amule Philip Sebit was ‘very glad for the trust the community has in him’, letting him to now serve for the second time as a councilor.

Mr. Amule said he will use the needs of the community for deliberations in the council during their quarterly sessions.

 

“The community trusted me and they have sent me back to the council,” he told TCT after the swearing in, calling for cooperation with other government arms and the citizens in their recess period.

Rose Tumalu, a resident in Yei, expects the councilors to tackle early school drops so that girls value education. “I want them to at least look at the issue of girls dropping out of school. Sometimes this is caused by pregnancy or if parents are unhappy with a girl’s results. But if one fails, is repeating a problem?” she question.

A forum of civil society organizations in Yei hailed the former governor for honoring the multiple calls to reinstate the municipal legislative council, adding that without the legislature, the executives and judiciary could not make up a full government delivering better services.

“We are very grateful to the governor for reinstating the council. So let us desist from the politics of incitement. So and so is like that, let us desist from that. Accept the positive criticisms and move forward. Try to be able to resolve. Let us commit dialogue amidst our selves”, Mawa George Lazarus, the forum’s deputy chairperson told councilors in the first swearing in.

Yei River County legislative council speaker, Cosmas Lasuba Kasiano, has appealed to the municipal and county councils to cooperate in their work amidst their areas of jurisdiction and act in ‘transparency and accountability’ in the decision makings.

“In all decisions you are making, you must be transparent and you must be accountable to whatever you have come up with as a government. By doing that then this one is a promotion of good governance”, he said.

Speaker Lasuba stressed the need for the councilors to embrace peace and togetherness in the cosmopolitan town hosting the 64 tribes of South Sudan and foreign nationals.

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