A Theoretical Dilemma of Corruption on the Republic of South Sudan

"I wish to send a crystal clear message to all those who are involved or may get involved in corruption in Southern Sudan in the future. Rest assured the Government of Southern Sudan will prosecute you. You can run but you cannot hide. I assure you that the long arm of the Law will catch you…If you swallow something that belongs to the people, we will force you to vomit it out”  —General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Government of Southern Sudan (2009).

By Joseph Monyde Malieny

March 11, 2012 (SSNA) — Eight Months since the historical independence of South Sudan in 2011, the South Sudanese society has devolved themselves into various standpoints such as tribal fights and land disputes, and distracted not to determine the successes or failures of our government ever since the coming of our freedom under the brutal Islamic regime of Sudan. It is therefore appropriate for the South Sudan society to do "good not bad or good not evil" "right not wrong" and evaluate the progress of ethics in public administration and administrative justice, that the government has made in their primary functions such as protective and coercive line functions; promotive and developmental line functions; enabling and facilitative staff functions and  implementation of its numerous policies published in South Sudan Transitional Constitution on the transformation of public service that set targets and timeframes for making the public service more representatives (Republic of South Sudan 2011). This constitution is our social contract between the South Sudan society and the South Sudan government.

The constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011, PART TWO,"BILL OF RIGHTS" (30(1)) stated, "All levels of government shall guarantee to persons with disabilities or special needs participation in society and the enjoyment of rights and freedoms set out in this Constitution, especially access to public utilities, suitable education and employment." This specific article gives us an obligation to litigate or ask public servants of how effective, efficiency, economical and appropriateness has the services been rendered to the determined priorities, but if we are busy with tribal planning of how to attack other tribal groups, then our government officials will be busy too, fuelling their pockets or account with public money for satisfying their private needs rather than people needs. So, let us distance ourselves from evil doings and join our constitution as our basic step of building South Sudan.

The purpose of this article is not to evaluate the progress that has been made with the transformation of the South Sudan public service, but to show what is "corruption," the causes of corruption,"  "community’s or communities’ role in corruption and communities/community control on corruption." As well as how protection services work through ethics guidelines and produce a conceptual framework that will extricate the major transformation of the newly born State’s concepts in the public services. In doing writing, this article is going to explain what corruption is, so that one can know where and how an official get trap in corruption or dishonesty for personal gain; who are involved in corruption and how public services can be protected from misuse by officials.


According to University of South Africa Press, corruption is defined as the abuse of power for personal gain (Professor F Uys 2006-117). It is an inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (bribery). Corruption, similar to stress, is a dynamic that has been present in all institutions since an institution is established, but it is undesirable and has a negative effect on the provision of services. According to “CHAPTER III” of ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION 2011, Article (144 (1) d) affirm that, “pursuant to the provisions of Article 120 (1) herein; require all persons holding such public offices to make confidential formal declarations of their income, assets and liabilities.” In South Sudan, corruption emerged amidst of public officials and police officials has becomeincreasingly entrenched in politic as vice president (VP) of the Republic of South Sudan, Riek Machar, has officially declared his personal income, assets and liabilities while calling on all constitutional post holders in the country to do the same (Sudan tribune news: February, 14, 2012 JUBA).  In viciousness of sustained efforts to combat corruption, it has to continue for centuries if there are no essential majors against corruption rather than declaration personal assets, income and liabilities.

In fighting corruption to improve governance, the organization’s political fairness, partnerships and governance focus need to be clearly cited as its value-added contribution in the area of anti-corruption is vital. In efforts to eliminate corruption, institutions have to raise salaries, offer more training and education, and have to introduce policies to target those factors that give rise to corruption. To understand why corruption continues to boom, we need to understand how individuals diverge and how the community influences corruption as well as to understand the environment in which protection services operate. According to Article (144 (1) d) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan mentioned above. Require all persons holding public positions to declare their property, but corruption take place in all parts of government levels indirectly rather than national sphere, provincial sphere and local sphere. Emblematic patterns of corruption include treasure on construction contracts, bribes to ensure favourable decisions in granting licences, gratuities following the allocation of land, using public resources such as labour, vehicles, travel and accommodation for personal purposes, providing public sector employment for unqualified family members and friends, selling state property such as construction material or weapons and keeping the income from such sales, payment of wages to phantasm human resources into one’s own bank account, and hiring an intermediary to disburse off the involved in order to expedite the issuing of a passport, or the bribing of a traffic officer to ignore a traffic offence. Theft, corruption and abuse of power is based on public officials and political office bearers but it’s seem not to be in all offices of government levels but an illegitimate taxes or tipping on streets, airports, ports and markets are others phenomenon symbols of corruption, and these are usually related to public protective bodies such as agency of securities and police officers. The causes of corruption are important because public servants trap in corruption without knowing how he/she corrupts public funds.

Causes of corruption

The causes of corruption are varies and should be viewed in the precise milieu. Corruption is closely an evil on every personal’s career ways if you are not aware of its causes, but not exclusively, linked to an officials’ optional power and the degree of accountability in executing such discretion. A numeral of conditions may influence the scope to which the execution of such discretion becomes vulnerable to corrupt practices; for instance, in the absence of clear rules and codes of ethics, discretionary power could easily become abused. Besides, the less effective government is in all-purposes, with dawdling budget procedures, lack of transparency, inadequate strategic vision and weak monitoring mechanisms, and delay of income, cause more fertile environment for corrupt practices. Stumpy public sector salaries and pitiable working conditions, with few incentives and rewards for efficient and effectives presentation, are strong inducement for corruption. The fact that the overall culture of governance plays an essential role, political leaders and top officials set an example of self-enhancement about public ethics, then lower-sphere officials and members of the public resolve to follow their suit.

Low compensation

In developing countries, mainly in Africa, the wages and salaries of public officials habitually stay low while inflation is going high and the devaluation of currencies is increasing. In view of these conditions, it has been said that, “public officials use corruption merely as a means to survive, and sometimes also simply because everyone else is doing it” (Uys 2006:118). One way of looking at corruption to argue that corrupt officials exist because they have been often corrupted by others, such as foreign actors. It is because multinational corporations have regularly been accused of bribery to secure contracts. It should not be ignored that the members of the public on a daily basis encourage corruption by bribing officials and even on occasion blackmailing them. This is usually being practiced by external influences to push their interests on track.

Individual values and norms

The public servant is morally bound, just as other people, to tell the truth, to keep promises, to respect the persons and the property of others, and to abide by the requirements of the law.  In many ways, this level only describes the basic adherence to moral codes that is expected of all members of a group or society. There are some basics of behavior that are anticipated of all if a society is to function for the collective good. For public officials, there is an additional reason why it is important to stick to these basic moral codes and laws: they have more power than the average constituent of the society. By disregarding this veracity, legalistic solutions based on institutional changes and stricter enforcement of rules is likely to effectively contain the extensive and systematic abuse of office sustained by social networks. If legal and institutional reforms are not applied in cycle with primary societal changes that adjust power relations and raise civic competence in dealing with corruption, then the prospects of making significant inroads into reducing corruption will remain remote. This is a narrative adapted from a study guide of “Public Administration of protection services” (University of South Africa Press 2006:119). Read it and imagine how protection services linked to corruption.

A young police officer was called to check on an elderly person. When he arrived, he found the person dead on the floor. On the table, he saw five hundred pound in cash. There was nobody else in the house and it seemed that the elderly person had lived alone. Certainly, the elderly person wake up and found his money on the table lost after a young police have informed his colleagues about his problem. Would anyone have known if the police officer had taken the money? May be, he did not, but another police officer in similar circumstance may have taken it. Some of the officers’ colleagues may even have said that he was foolish not to have taken the money.

I can conclude from the above tale that, each human being has a set of norms and values that will guide his or her dealings. The person is imperative, but it can also take place that the state of affairs overrule the person, for instance, individual cases of corruption may be the result of insatiability, economic problems or collect force. In this situation, the institutions that grant protection services will do the whole lot in their power to avoid appointing individual whose personalities make them vulnerable to corrupt indirectly because when this occurs repeatedly, and then the circumstances is no longer tolerable.

Communities’ role in corruption

The communities’ contribution to corruption in institutions that provide protection services should also be taken into account by reporting illegal actions of those institutions. And if any community endures dishonesty, it also gets involved in it and it will encourage public institutions to flourish the environment of corruption. According to Uys 2006:120 mentioned that, “police scandals are said to have done much damage to the American police in the early nineties.” The receipt of bribes, the protection of thieves such as those who hide unlawful materials, for instance, drugs for their private use and lack of departmental control over such behaviors on some police officers, threatened to cause serious damage to the image of the police and members of the communities felt that they could no longer trust those in power.

Control of corruption

There is no suspicion that corruption must be controlled directly by anti-corruption commission indirectly through communities’ members. According to the Republic of South Sudan Constitution,CHAPTER IIof “Duties of the Citizen” section (46{2} d) outline citizens duties to “prevent and combat corruption and sabotage;” it has allow all citizens to stand up against corruption. The costs are just too high, and it affects not only the individuals but also the delivery of protection services as a whole, and the community itself. Unlawful participation in corruption may demolish the career and family life of individual officers and may also guide to legal sanctions. From the community’s point of view, corruption leads to a loss of respect for members of institutions, poor service delivery and loss of trust in the institution that corrupt public funds. Within the institution itself, corruption may direct to low morale, inefficient act and cause problems with the image and authority of the service. Strong controls are essential to eliminate corruption. Such control should come from within the institution and should be supported by community.

To keep in mind, there are no distinct easy solutions for dealing with corruption in institutions that deliver protection services. On the one hand, broad reforms such as liberalization and democratization could grant the proposal for clean governance and management, but on the other hand, the fight against corruption also demands precise reforms to create a culture of accountability, introduce public service reforms, raise civil awareness and put reasons for proper behaviour in place. Eventually, a strategy for responding to corruption must target administration, civil society and private investors.

Internal control of corruption

The main component in combating corruption is the attitude of leaders and the quality of line management. The leaders of the institution should take a strong stand against corruption. The absence of strict action against corruption in an institution conveys the significance that such conduct is acceptable, and that will lead to more corruption. Well-trained and sensitive administrators that will back up the chiefs in the institution will enhance their ability to combat corruption. It is often emphasized that training can contribute to the fight against corruption. Such training should be intended explicitly at the ethical behaviour and evading of corruption and in situation that may lead to corruption, for example, where an officer regularly accepts free meals at the same restaurant. If members of the institution are not informed of penalties of corruption, because it will just encourage corrupt practices. Arrests and prosecution of corrupt officers or officials will send a clear signal to other members of the institution. CHAPTER III of ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSIONin the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, Article (145{4})authorized anti-corruption commission (ACC) by stating that, ” The Commission shall have power to issue summons or other orders requiring representatives of relevant institutions and other bodies at all levels of government or persons or organizations to appear before it or produce any document or record relevant to any investigation by the Commission.” This is not only the responsibility of (ACC) alone but it remains the responsibility of each member of an institution to report acts that constitute corruption to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Communities or community control

The authorities need the help of the community to combat corruption. The public should be educated to know and understand the implications and outlay of corruption. It should be understand that even the smallest bribe can lead to greater corruption when an individual within a community didn’t report such pace.  The increase focus on corruption in the state of affair is one reason that will exclusively reduce unlawful actions of public officials. Corruption is like HIV/Aids problem because it cannot be controlled completely but it must be combated based on corporation of vertical and horizontal communication of a state. Institutions can use a number of tools, such as strict control by executive officers, quality supervision, discipline, training and special units for investigating corruption. Community control includes educating the public and introducing community investigation units to help Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) eradicate dishonesty of protection officers and public officials. But South Sudan society is so busy with unprofitable duties such as tribal fights of which they don’t even think of what is “well-being.” Well-being is one of the most important aspects of our lives, as individuals and as societies.


As it was mentioned above that, “this article is not to assess or investigate the progress that has been made within the South Sudan public service,” but its purpose is to put awareness on the table together with personal career as dishonesty is an evil in public affair of the State. Corruption is defined as the misused of public funds but it is undesirable and has an unenthusiastic effect on the provision of services. Also I have explained some numeral of conditions that may influence the scope of corruption and to which the execution of discretion becomes vulnerable to corrupt practices; for instance, in the absence of clear rules and codes of ethics, discretionary power could easily become abused. Nevertheless, I have described the basic adherence to moral codes that is expected of all members of a group or society in the public sector and how they are bound to administrative justice. In the control measures of corruption, it was said that arrests and prosecution of corrupt officers or officials will send a clear signal to other members of the institution. And finally, Corruption is enlightened to have characteristics of HIV/Aids, and it must be combated using corporation of vertical and horizontal communication of a state. Institutions have been revealed to use number of tools, such as a strict control via executive officers, quality management, obedience, training and special units for investigating corruption. Community controls are based on education as part of corruption prevention and introducing community investigation units to help Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) eliminate fraudulence of protection officers and public officials.

The Author is a student at the University of South Africa, Pretoria. He can be reached at [email protected]

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