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GOSS statement on $3 million scandal was uncovincing

12-18-2008, 11:47 AM
محمد فرح
<aمحمد فرح
Registered: 09-14-2006
Total Posts: 9222

GOSS statement on $3 million scandal was uncovincing

    By Isaiah Abraham

    December 16, 2008 — The Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) Regional Cooperation Ministry hasn’t just denied that there was no corruption involved Gen. Stephen Madut Baak in London earlier this month- General Stephen was reported to be running away with big money when he was caught red handed with US$3 million at Heathrow Airport from Sudan- but the Ministry has actually confirmed everybody’s fears by giving a wobble defense to the said transfer of money to the United Kingdom. The Under Secretary Dr. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho confounded the world on Friday (12/12/2008) when he admitted figure $137,000 and then LS 200,000 in that money laundering. He further explains that the purpose of $137,000 money was to open GOSS London Office that will include the support of the three staff members and purchase of a brand office car. The LS 200,000 was given by GOSS as ‘loan’ to Gen. Stephen Madut Baak, according to the Minister. Dr. Cirino asserted that the government ‘official’ in question and his government aren’t graft players in that matter. The money was officially a government’s mission money. He was emphatic and thorough. Well, who has believed the Minister from that ‘clarification’? May be the author was alone in not believing him straight because of questions hanging over this saga. Recall we have had similar statements after other previous scandals involving GOSS and the truth there never delayed or disappointed.

    Hon. Minister didn’t give time enough for journalists to prod him further otherwise the simple truth (which he cleverly attempted to evade) stain a seemingly an interested graft and that is: where on earth in this modern time and day could a big government like our government (GOSS) deal with money transfer in cash against bank accounts. Besides, Gen. Stephen has been living in London for over a decade, who could believe that he was on that day bewitched to ignore risk associated with cash transfer, especially that big money? I don’t think we have enough time to waste to reason behind the so called ‘loan’. There is nothing like that here. The proper terminology should have been ‘assistance’ and here also comes this query: why is Gen. Stephen assisted with that large sum of money when there are dire need of cash for our education, health an sanitation, infrastructure (roads and bridges), food security, technological innovation and security. But again is there an article or clause in our interim constitution that guarantees and allows the Finance Minister or the President free hands in the public copper? Anti Corruption Unit has an MOU with GOSS on major transfers, what happen to this gentlemen agreement?

    Get it right, the author isn’t popping up an insinuation jab against Gen. Stephen Madut and or GOSS Presidency, not really, I love his quietness and the President listening ability. May be everything there was done on good faith or purely an official duty, these days nevertheless don’t take things for granted from this government called GOSS. This is a wealthier government that spends or gives money anywhere with no due respect to law (or cry of its citizen) and still get away with it. Gen. Stephen could be innocent like his supplier (GOSS) but never overlook this truth: Gen. Stephen isn’t an Advisor to the President, right or wrong? Who is he then? Excuse me; I don’t know his title yet and therefore a concern..

    Gen. Stephen assistances amount to LS 200,000 from the Ministry of Finance consideration discredit the ability of our Chief Executive to control public money entrusted to him by the public. That is an argument. Giving one person that amount of money as ‘loan’ or whatever is unforgivable. The matters are made worse when it seems as if the Gen. is close to the President. Let me give the President this advice before I stop and then moan: our dear President do your legacy a favor by firing the Minister of Finance or at least formed a committee headed by Anti-Corruption Chief Her Excellency Dr. Pauline Riak, to get to the bottom of the matter so to clear your tainted image through scandal. It’s upon our leader furthermore to do the right thing for the good of the ordinary Southern Sudanese who still suffers from everything since this peace was signed three years ago.

    The huge gains made in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the South and the North in term of stability and development have been shaken, thanks to corruption and slow (inability) leadership of the current SPLM party. The heroes turn avarices united in a #####ng spree mission to cripple peace dividends through gross mismanagement and lack of accountability. With lofty promises and slogans by its leaders the people of Southern Sudan are short changed by their own sons and daughters who are making no mistake to siphon public money in to their personal back accounts as quickly as possible. Who can truly believe again that the gentlemen in power are serious?

    Though it’s not everyone in that government that is corrupt, the few within that system have spoiled the names of many zero corrupt officials in that government and unless something is done quickly, that government will remain corrupt dented government in our history as Southern Sudanese when people rise up and pull it down. Shockingly as it appears, there is no will at the moment on the side of these leaders to push forward Anti-Corruption Bill. The toothless Anti Corruption Commission is helplessly waiting in vain for that bill to be passed. The Minister of Legal Affairs has done his part but unfortunately the Bill is being strangulated in the corridors of Parliament in a clear attempt to delete its flavors and tastes after it fell in to the pool of sharks whose preference is the status quo over accountability. Hon. Minister of Legal Affairs don’t give up, fight for poor ordinary Southerner.

    To be honest, I don’t care what is happening in GOSS as to corruption. This is a sad thing you don’t want to know from this author who since opted to stay aside, but I have a reason: so long as these gentlemen keep on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement cause in tact, there is no bone of jealousy in him to flex about what is being stashed here or abroad. That means then that our leaders must not look at the CPA as an end in itself, they got to eat as much as they can but keep on focusing on the Self Determination and Popular Consultation for the people of Southern Sudan and two traditional marginalized areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

    The General Elections next year must be allowed to go ahead in July as planned. The Census results and outcomes next February must be accepted even if an Arab called Dr. Yassin Al Hajj Abdeen (Census and House Chief) manipulated actual figure to give South Sudan 3 million people. Compromise for strategic purposes is of necessity and it amply helps. Our men/women in uniform must not forgotten, their salaries must not delay even one week! Though there are real financial irregularities in our army, they need proper attention. CPA isn’t the end of the journey. To shorten the days as promulgated in the CPA should have been our focus. The promise land is still ahead and if we start feeling comfortable here we will miserably lose and possibly forever. The SPLM should nominate Mr. Pagan or Dr. Mansor for Sudanese Presidency against Al Bashir. President Salva I guess isn’t a serious contender there but has an interest for Southern Presidency seat, ruining chances for Dr. Machar who is undoubtedly the man for the job. Let’s not despair and look inwardly, its gonna be alright if we fix our attention to Khartoum. We will come for Gen. Kiir and his administration later on; his government isn’t invincible.

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