Cabinet ministers hit by accommodation shortage

Cabinet ministers hit by accommodation shortage

The national ministers in the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity have been hit by a lack of accommodation, Dr Martin Elia Lomuro, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, revealed.

This is after it emerged that former ministers who no longer hold any government positions are still occupying facilities meant for their incumbent counterparts.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet briefing on Friday, Lomuro threatened to forcefully evict those occupying government houses meant for serving national ministers.

“Ministers of the revitalised agreement are suffering from a chronic shortage of accommodation,” he said.

Lomuro stated that his ministry has so far identified a total of 66 houses being occupied by the former advisor, former ministers, and non-executive officers, including staff from the state.

“I made a presentation on the houses of the government and we were able to identify a total of six houses that should be available for ministers. Unfortunately, some of these houses are being occupied by former advisors, former ministers, non-executive officers, military officers, police officers, and even staff from various institutions, including the state, ” Lomuro revealed.

He said he briefed the council about the available houses, their types, and those who are occupying them, noting that the intention is to ensure that people who are not in the executive or constitutional post holders evacuate government houses. This has to be done within three months after they are relieved from office.

Committee to be formed

He added that the council decided that the Minister of Cabinet Affairs should form a committee that would scrutinise the types of houses, the people living in them, and what their job descriptions were or their occupations were, then he would finally present a report to the council.

 “The intention is to make sure anybody who is not in the executive, anybody who is not a constitutional post holder, whether you are a former constitutional post holder as an advisor or minister, you stay for three months and at the end of three months you evacuate,” Lomuro stressed.

“That should be the norm, and we should be different from other countries.” So that’s been a decision that’s been adopted and we look forward to forming the committee to go into details and finally submit to the council of ministers the recommendation for peaceful vacation or forceful vacation, ” he added.

The revelation comes in the wake of a protracted battle between the former Central Equatoria State Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Rose Lisok Paulino, and the state administration. The state ordered Lisok’s eviction from a government house last month, but the former officer vowed to stay in the house till her benefits are settled.

“Since that week, when I was evicted, I have not heard anything from the authorities. I don’t know again because some police officers came here to check whether I had left or not, “she told The City Review in an interview on November 2.

“I told the state government that if there is no money paid for my benefit, I will not go anywhere because I don’t have a house in Juba. I stayed in my father’s house for two years before relocating to this government’s house,” she added, as she lashed out at the officers for being inhumane while evicting her.

The RTGoNU came to life in February 2020 after President Salva Kiir reverted the country to ten states. This was followed by the appointment of ministers less than two months later.

Lomuro did not say where the ministers were, or are currently being accommodated as the transitional period enters its final phase.