This article was last updated on May 25, 2022
Speaking to hundreds of print and broadcast journalists drawn from different media houses attending a World Bank Institute’s Training at Juba Grand Hotel, the chairperson of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Uganda, Hon. Kassiano Wadri who also heads the regional’s Eastern African Association of Public Accounts Committees (EAAPAC) called for South Sudanese Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Media to forge a spirit of collaboration with ultimate objective to make institutions be accountable and transparent in relation to managing public resources.
He disclosed that in Uganda, PAC and media are working together in the interest of the common man and not necessarily for leaders who hold public resources.
He said the PAC perceives the media as a close friend rather an opponent because it its plays greater role by alerting the public on any scandal related matters in the country.
Wadri disclosed that his leadership as EEAPAC in the Eastern African Region has been from time to time challenged to increase accountability in the use of public resources, and that of National South Sudanese committee is not exceptional but must adapt the system accordingly.
He said PAC in the new nation should establish a healthy rapport with the media as happens in other African countries.
“No way, you must have a good relationship. I will never agree that PAC does excellent job in the absence of the media because media informs the public on the processes related to on procurement and contracts between the government and companies among other things,” Wadri said.
He added that the role of the media becomes so crucial in nation building.
“We need it whether you like it or not, the media is important in holding any parties accountable on Public resources. The objective is to improve our accountability and transparency,” he said.
Wadri heads the Ugandan PAC as the leader of Minority in the Parliament.
However, he noted that journalists all over the world are not patient when seeking for news even from concerned leaders and he advised them to exercise patience and enable preparation of sufficient data hence reduce conflicts on the impact of the news once broadcast or published to the public.
“The media is always in hurry, they plead for urgent release, they want news to appear exclusive source and run faster. At times, media themselves are in competition over getting news first. Please give us time. You must allow the cooking process be completed so that adequate data is made ready for you,” he said.
However, the chairperson of PAC in Zimbabwe’s Parliament, Hon. Webber Chinyadza who doubles as Secretary General of the Southern African Development Community Organization of Public Accounts Committees (SADCOPAC) contradicts his colleague Hon. Wadri as he encourages journalists to always find ways to cover any related news to public resources by follow it as soon as possible because waiting will kill time as dealers will also find their ways to conceal the process in the long run.
Hon. Chinadza said by doing so, it will prompt and enable a rapid probe or investigation into the matter by other relevant committees.