June 20, 2013 (SSNA) — In the new country of South Sudan politics never seems to satisfy the peoples’ unlimited appetite to know exactly how their country is run. But never be disappointed or be bored when this politics turns to endless talks about corrupt officials right from the office of the president, to the ministers and down to the different levels of the government’s officials, for this is the rebels turn rulers’ style of governance.
The latest development in what seems like an endless drama is the president’s move to suspend two of his most senior federal ministers over corruption. Aware of how long these two have served with president Kiir since the bush days, and throughout the rough era of the partnership in the so-called Government of National Unity (GoNU) with the northern National Congress Party (NCP) of Omer al Bashir, one is tempted to say that the working relationship between the trio must have taken a turn for the worse.
And no one should be fooled into believing that President Salva is any different than his fellow comrades when it comes to corruption, tribalism or nepotism. If not for the persistent pressure from the international community neither Kiir nor any of the SPLM big shots are prepared to give any damn about corruption or money going missing from the government’s coffers since they became the rulers in South Sudan.
Examples are in abundance to support this argument for its now ages since the public learned of the missing $4 billion dollars, and although the culprits – 75 of them [current and former ministers and senior officials], are all known to the president, yet he is unable to bring them to the book.
Not too long ago, an amount of money initially report to be over $6 million dollars went missing from the president’s office in Juba. Those accused in this act of theft turned out to be the president’s own kinsmen whom he had appointed to work in his office, in line with the institutionalized nepotism practiced the nationwide. In short, operations ‘signal left and turn right’!
This theft case which only became of a concern to the president after having been exposed by the media, has now reached a dead end. The anti-corruption committee in its post investigation report, made it clear that the investigation into the case was not any easy nor straight forward as people in power kept interfering with the evidences. Finally it is now concluded that the theft in the president’s office was a work of an insider, maybe the president himself colluding in it, is what we are yet to be told.
Salva Kiir’s latest fall off with two of his top ministers, has only increased the streets appetite for more probes to be carried out in this corruption infested country. People would like to hear and see people like the deputy minister of interior Lt. General Salva Mathok Gengdit relived of their positions and immunities as well, and to face questioning in the suspicious murder of a 25 year old traffic policeman, Banyjioth Mathoat Tap from the Bul Nuer community, whose body was found under Mathok’s house on 30 March. [ST http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?page=imprimable&id_article=46547]
Besides that there was that infamous CID senior officer by the name of Major General Marial Nour Jok, who was arrested on the order of the president himself over the disappearance of a young survey engineer John Luis Silvino.
All circumstantial evidences pointed to the fact that it was this CID murderer who summoned the missing engineer to his office, before finally going missing. As you read these lines, this ruthless murderer is now on the loose after the president knowing allowed him to be smuggled out of the country where he is claimed to be receiving treatment in the neighbouring Kenya for over a year now.
My personal take here is in fact to encourage President Cmdr. Kiir Mayardit in his latest campaign even if it means that he will end up losing the SPLM chairmanship in the illusive party convention. For he has for a long time now deafened people by his “much talk but little do” so-called ‘zero tolerance’ or the other equally empty slogan of so-called “no reverse gear”.
As the author of this humble article I have no much to gain by going into the other speculations as to why the president acted differently this time around, nonetheless the street is already saturated with all kinds of stories to justify the his action. Be reminded that in places like South Sudan where true information are easily rumoured in the market places or drinking joints, whatever is rumoured in “Konyo-Konyo” Market, is nothing but the sole true.
So according to the “Konyo-Konyo” Candour, the president’s action against the finance minister could have resulted from the minister’s recent order in which he reshuffled a number of senior staff within the ministry of finance. The staff in question had threatened the minister and reportedly forwarded their petition to the president asking him to force the minister to reverse his decision.
Another mouth –piece for the unhappy members of staff in the ministry of finance, who are resisting the ministerial orders on internal reshuffle, has already labeled the minister’s action as tribalistic, since the three staff members in the centre of this controversy happen to his kinsmen, and not from the same tribe as the minister.
Of course in a community that wakes on tribalism, spends the whole day in activates meant to promote and entrench tribalism and only goes to sleep and wakes up to another similar day, every ones misfortune can be labeled as a tribal motivated incident planned by another rivalry tribe.
In other words, it means for a promotion or demotion, transfer or even internal reshuffles to go down well with South Sudanese officials or workers alike, such authorization must come from one’s own kinsmen; otherwise it is right away considered as an act of tribalism! What a society to live in?
While in the case of Deng Alor Kuol – Minister for Cabinet Affairs, others speculate that he might be a victim of the ongoing SPLM party’s inner fights. Like millions of other people in this unfortunate country, he too is seen to have withdrawn his support from the president, in favour of the more charismatic SPLM Secretary General, Pa’gan Amum Akeich, rumoured to be preparing to challenge the incumbent chairman come the convention.
Whichever way the current scenarios head to, for the average South Sudanese in the towns, villages, luaks, and those in the diaspora, it has long been concluded that neither President Salva Kiir Mayardit nor his ‘rotten to the core’ SPLM party has any salvation to provide for this fast sinking country. While we encourage them to finish each other, we look forward to a better South Sudan without any of them.
Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba is the Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at: [email protected]