On Wednesday, the country’s members of parliament allocated 1 billion South Sudanese Pounds ($7,676,976) for the immediate purchase or lease of a plane for President Kiir. This was resolved during the passing of the 2019/2020 fiscal year budget at the national parliament, South Sudan's Eye Radio reported.
Eye Radio is the only independent radio station in the war-wracked country and boast about a million listeners.
“In the interest and protection of the National Sovereignty, the National Legislature allocated 1 billion ssp to the Ministry of Transport for the immediate purchase/lease of the Jet for the President,” Honorable David Nailo said while presenting the budget for the final reading on Wednesday.
Since the declaration of independence 8 years ago, South Sudan’s President has been flying with commercial planes notably Rwanda airline. However, the war-wracked country feels President Kirr should not go through such ‘indignity’ any more.
Some of the reasons raised by the parliamentary committee included security of the president while on commercial flights and sovereignty of the nation. The legislatures say the safety of the president on commercial flights in not guaranteed.
South Sudan’s parliament also approved SSP 100 million ($767,697.65) for the establishment of a National Carrier, the South Sudan Airways.
“The Ministry of Transport is directed to formulate policy and carry out a feasibility study for the establishment of the national carrier, South Sudan Airways, which will be a revenue-generating investment,” Nailo added.
During the second reading last week, some residents felt the money proposed for purchasing the planes could be used for the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement according to Eye Radio.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Kirr who is on an official state visit to Uganda held bilateral talks where the launching of operations of Uganda Airlines in the South Sudanese capital, Juba was discussed.
Uganda Airlines is set to make its inaugural flight on Wednesday from Entebbe Airport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, while commercial flights to Juba are also expected to begin next week.