May 7, 2012

Sudan: Give the Senior Citizens on Pension Their Dues

JUBA / The Citizen / Pension / May 5, 2012

We have read the article of the columnist of The Citizen Newspaper, William Sunday Tor strongly suggesting to our Government of the Republic of South Sudan the need for creating a budget and a comprehensive system of paying post-service benefits, gratuities and pensions to our former employees.

Dying of hunger
 
His suggestion is in place and the acting Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, in the Government of the Republic of South Sudan should come out with a scheme to meet the demands of these senior citizens who have retired after serving their nation and people for a very long time. The issue of pension payment to its beneficiaries, the pensioners, should top the priorities of our acting Minister of Public Service because one of the most important functions of his Ministry is to take stock or make census of the employees retired from active service after performing their duties for their nation and their fellow citizens with dedication and prudence for so long a time. Let us thank the Almighty God that He had guided us to total independence from the jallaba who had been depriving us of our rights even the most basic ones for survival.


Now that we are responsible for our destiny we should treat all our people equally irrespective of our ages. These voices of elderly people crying for their dues from their homes should not be ignored by those concerned officials because if their entitlements are not given to them we shall answer questions on the day of judgement before Almighty God whether we have not deprived anyone from his need during our lifetime. Here we would like to advise the Acting Minister of Labour and Public Service not to shy away this proposal put forward by writer William Sunday Tor but to work out a comprehensive scheme of meeting the financial entitlements of the pensioners who are in their thousands in the ten South Sudan states. The Minister has to coordinate this work with the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning so that an emergency budget is made available to meet the financial requirements of the pensioners. The two ministers can solve this human problem. Actually the problem has something to do with food, feeding and keeping alive.


The pensions cannot build a house. The Republic of South Sudan has come a long way with a lot of sacrifices in many forms and some of these elderly citizens had worked hard to bring up their children who are some of these important government ministers and officials and that was their contribution to the struggle for independence of our great nation which is capable to square the problem of its pensioners. We know that when we cut the cord from the jallaba of Sudan it was a total separation and therefore we have to solve all our problems which we have inherited from the old Sudan by ourselves here in Juba. Information was once circulated that pensions of the senior South Sudan elders who had been serving during the British era and in the post-independence period of old Sudan were to be released by Khartoum. How could they do this if they were angry that these senior citizens of South Sudan had advised their younger generation to vote for separation and not unity during the referendum? So there is a serious enmity from Khartoum against the South Sudanese pensioners that whatever money of pensions Sudan has should be written off as bad debts. No pension money should be expected from Khartoum and our Government in Juba should shoulder its responsibility to care for the welfare of its elderly citizens. This is the last service that they can be accorded.


© 2012 AllAfrica


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