June 12, 2014 (SSNA) — As war rages on in South Sudan and peace negotiation stalled in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, between the Government of South Sudan and SPLM –in Opposition, South Sudan is once again rocked by another alleged nasty scandal and embezzlement of $ 205 million US Dollars by its Chief Peace Negotiator, former Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial when in office and another $22 million Dollars stolen by Mr. Bol Kornelio Koryom Mayik, the elderson of South Sudan Central Bank Governor, Mr. Kornelio Koryom Mayik.
Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial is a son of a revered and well respected politician, late Deng Nhial. Young Nhial Deng Nhial was groomed and polished to a matured politician by late Dr. John Garang De Mabior after he (Nhial) completed his studies in London, England and subsequently joined the war of liberation under the banner of Sudan people liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). After the untimely death of Dr. John Garang on July 30th, 2005, Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial was appointed to various ministerial portfolios in the Government of South Sudan including the Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs of which he is now accused of misappropriation of $205 Dollars between 2008- 2011.
Sources from the Government of South Sudan’s Ministry of Defence disclosed to the writer that in 2010, Hon. Minister Nhial Deng Nhial tabled a proposal to buy 150 military trucks for SPLA army. Hon. Nhial was allegedly asked to unveil the price tax quota by members of parliament close circle. Mr. Nhial was alleged to have made contacts with some folks in the Middle East to prepare a quota and reported to have come back with $108, 000 USD for each truck. Through simple calculation the price tax add up to $16.2 million dollars for all 150 trucks when purchased.
Sources from the Ministry of Defence reported that Minister Nhial refused and abandoned the quota though the quota was the actual market price. Hon. Minister Nhial went for another endeavour and contacted his own business partner, Abdul Bagi Mukhtar of Northern Sudan. Mr. Mukhtar provided Mr. Nhial with another over prized quota of $200, 000 USD for each truck, which placed the procurement to $30 million USD for all 150 military trucks.
Hon. Minister, Nhial Deng Nhial was alleged to have accepted the quota and rightfully awarded the procurement contract to Abdul Bagi Mukhtar. Afterward, Hon Minister Nhial was reported to have bypass few members of parliament he previous dealt with but instead instructed South Sudan Minister of Finance Hon. Minister David Deng Athorbiei to paid Mr. Mukhtar with full amount in advance before the trucks were delivered to South Sudan Army, SPLA. The payment got processed and $30 million of dollars transaction was cleared through minister Nhial’s instruction without the products (trucks) to Mr. Mukhtar’s secret account. Life goes on as usual and with some lingering hopes that military trucks would be delivers despite over price issue.
Subsequently only 49 military trucks were delivered to the Government of South Sudan Army by Hon. Minister Nhial and his business partner Mr. Mukhtar. Out of $30 million USD wired to Mukhtar account secret account aboard, only $5.3 million Dollars was spent on 49 military trucks purchase with price of $ 108, 000 for each truck. Now, no one knows what happened to $ 24.6 million USD of South Sudan petrol-dollars.
Second, buck didn’t stop there for Hon. Minister Nhial Deng Nhial and didn’t have enough of purported scandal. Hon. Nhial and Hon. David Deng Athorbiei, the former Minister of finance, both gentlemen are also accused of misappropriation of $175 million USD for regarding the Air Defense System purchase in 2010. Sources from the ministry disclosed that the deal was approved by none other than H. E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit. It appeared ambitious and sounds to me given Mr. President’s involvement. However, I was mistaken and dead wrong because it was another scum by the men at the top. As writes, no single Air Defense System arrived in South Sudan to this day.
This is where my investigation got interesting and nasty, particularly when one asked how $175 million USD was spent, who was awarded with such profitable procurement and what the actual price of the Air Defense System was?
Evident revealed that the procurement contract was awarded to none other than Hon. Minister Nhial Deng Nhial and his counterpart Hon, David Athorbiei. Mr. Nhial and Mr. Athorbiei were reported to have wired $ 175 million USD to a secret account in Macedonia. The informants told this writer that trouble occurred during the wiring such large amount of money to international foreign banks and caused the United States intelligent community get suspicious. Then, the money was confiscated in the process and had to be bailed out by another South Sudan Government official top aid based in U.S. Subsequently the procession went on as planned. Hon. Minister Nhial and Hon. Minister Athorbiei went and purchased an old Air Defense system with the price tax of $20 million USD. The kick back amount of $155 million dollars was stashed away into secret accounts by Mr. Nhial, Mr. Athorbiei and one official from Kiir’s presidential office.
Interestingly though this purchase of Air Defense System was done without Ex. Chief of General Staff Gen. James Hoth Mai’s prior knowledge. Besides, the purchased old Air Defense System was not delivered to South Sudan but to a filth warehouse in Uganda. Evil enough the machine isn’t working and needed an intensive repair. While that old and useless Air Defense System rusting in Uganda, in 2013, the Company who sold old the Air Defense System to Minister Nhial and Minister Athorbiei again billed Government of South Sudan of $90 million USD after Hon. Nhial and Hon. Athorbiei instructed them to do so but Ex. Gen. James Hoth Mai was reported to have refused to pay the additional charge.
Third, the last scandal involved Mr. Bol Kornelio Koryom Mayik, the elder Son of the South Sudan central Bank’s Governor, H. E. Kornelio Koryom Mayiik. Bol Kornelio Koryom is accused to have stolen $22 million USD between May 29th and June 7th, 2014. It was alleged that young Koryom was caught red handed stealing $2 million dollar crossing South Sudan and Uganda border after he previously successfully embezzled $20 million dollars days before he was caught. Because of this scandal, rumour had it that H. E. Kornelio Koryom Mayiik is expected to resign from his post as Central Bank Governor.
It was also reported that H.E. Mayiik and son owned 11 Forex Bureaus in Juba and these establishment were done in the name of the Bank of South Sudan. If all is true, South Sudan is once again at the peril and mercy of doom!
J. Nguen is a concerned South Sudan citizen living in Canada and founder of recently formed think tank, South Sudan Debates. He can be reached at [email protected].