Articles and Analysies
GOSS must reaffirm its Corruption drive BY: Isaiah Abraham, JUBA
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Sep 13, 2009 - 11:08:24 AM

GOSS must reaffirm its Corruption drive

BY: Isaiah Abraham, JUBA


Corruption, as it's known, is evil, and our government is commended for standing up and trying a face-lift on the Anti-corruption Unit. The move by our government lately involves a proclamation of some laws ranging from procedures to prosecution, and including hefty pay or increment of the salaries of the Commission staff up to over 150%. We seemed to have greeted that move with appreciation, as others would have concluded that the onus should now lie with the Commission to deliver.

Well, I just pray that something happens, but to my best judgment and as in this argument, we must be cautious before singing 'Alleluia' about what has been done right. Perhaps we should take a 'wait and see' attitude, because history has taught us bitterly about what our government promises. I thought we are exactly where we are last year, when similar laws/changes were officially mooted; how are we sure this time around that it won't take us the same period into next year to see thieves locked up behind bars?

Do you know that financial criminals, or say suspects for our case, love the art of political ambiguity, diversionary and confusion tactics? Lying, dissembling and moving goal posts are time-honored defenses for criminals. The English poet, Joseph Addison, couldn't put it succinctly: "when vice prevails and impious men bear sway, the post of honor is a private station".

The SPLM is a popular movement, it has men and women who're real and trust that one day, they will rise up and make amends to our home-made crisis. Just a prayer!

Even if we might see small fish apprehended, the big ones will still swim away with chunks of public money to
Europe and neighboring countries where their children and families reside permanently. The culture of looting is only possible because of a mafia-like pact among our elite who live by a maxim that: scratch my back and I will scratch yours. This is an essence of a lawless society where criminals are driven out from jail at gun point. A state where civilians are allowed to slaughter themselves and no action is taken.

No single accountability case has ever been concluded under President Kiir's rule and one should be very afraid and wary when such news are touted.

Once the pressure mounts, the President fires and hires and it ends up there; the suspects get away with large amounts of money and the public watches helplessly. Our image has been tainted, investors nervous, while we continue to down play the damage this evil practice is costing our nascent beginning.

There are individuals who are determined to fail President Kiir and by now everyone should have known them. Yet, we have every reason to say the bug stops with him, the President. I have some series of questions to the President on the same; but before then, I have an opposite view about the person in charge of the Anti-corruption Unit (as some of my colleagues have actually voiced it out somewhere).

I have a uniquely different opinion against the highly esteemed lady who's entrusted with such a sensitive job. Not because she is incapable or spineless, no! But her stellar as disciplinarian is caught between an insipid (boring) system that is literally ingenuous and her matronly faze about male flexing acreage in a country she is identified with by adaption.

She's one of the Southern Sudanese women you can't mistaken for spoiling or corruption, but the situation she has found herself in is larger than her status. Too complicated, particularly that there is no political will at the top. She has since chosen to play it safe and one would expect her to continue that way.

But unless the current strategy is looked into once more, so as to find how to make her work easier, there are no chances in sight for any progress against corruption. I would expect our dear President to try such stone-pushers in the likes of Prof. Bari Wanji, Dr. Richard K. Mulla or Dr. William Bior. Dr. Pauline Riak deserves a full ministerial position and she can do fine in education, and let the Professor/minister of education give way and enjoy his villas.

Here we go with some queries. Mr. President, who let Mr. Arthur Akuein off the hook? How did he come out from the prison, and what did you do to those jail breakers?

What of some scams at procurement, taxation and immigration units that plague the system year in and year out, a scenario in which foreign dealers colluded with few elements within and hiked prices for their benefits? In another word, has it crossed your mind why is it that each of the officials is growing businesses from one sector to the other?

What of UNHCR repatriation vehicles purchases scandal, has anyone been arrested and if not, why? Deng Macham Anguei was repeatedly mentioned, may be he's innocent?

Do I need to go further from here? May be not, but who really owns one of the mobile phone companies, a company that pays a peanut share to the government and the rest goes to individuals?

Do we have time to question why the SPLM Office Construction was halted for months, the very office that was seen as a symbol of integrity?

What did the Bank Of Southern Sudan (BOSS) Governor (Elijah Malok) tell you is happening in the private sector? I'm seeing the good old man writing books while banks that have characterized our entrepreneurship are dying before his watch.

What name do we attach to Gen. Stephen Madut Baak's Heathrow cash fiasco? Was an investigation carried out and if yes, on what planet?

Mr. President, I'm open and this is leadership of the people not a private affair. What section in our constitution that authorizes your office manager to dip into public coffers and dish out cash in millions to so-called students in Uganda ? Why is it Uganda , by the way, and not in any other country where Southerners stay? Oh, let me stop here.

Mr. President, I thought what you are referring to as new laws were actually already there. Dr. Machar, the Vice President, did his part to pump 7 million dollars in one quarter to the commission, how did you thwart his efforts then and if you beat a retreat now, how sure is the public that you won't abandon the Commissioner when your support and direction would be seriously needed?

If anyone would believe you before you leave office, there is a need to take this fight against graft very seriously. Take action against those mentioned and let the law do it work. Southern Sudan can't be held captive by a few elements within, who care less about the welfare of the majority Southerners.

We need your personal involvement. You need a Prosecutor General, the young boy who is there now won't catch a chicken. Check out whether the Auditor General, the Attorney general and the Anti-corruption Commission are working in tandem.

Look, Khartoum within the last three years under (Gov.) Dr. Abdul Halim Mutaffi, has established 250 government sponsored projects and ours is zero since your government came to power. How do you feel, Mr. President, when our Main Juba Hospital is still under a foreign support and no single government sponsored school has been built for the past four years?

I have watched this government fighting back when criticized but I can't find any kind words to describe my disappointment. This is our government and we must not shy away from giving it raw dismissal. We loved our President and wanted him to change.

But my little instinct tells me that the the option is for Mr. President to give a bow, take off his 'gloves' and go home; people can't stand such a heartless regime where lives becomes priceless. While we still mourn and tears still fresh for our dear ones in Jonglei last month (Akobo & Twic East), criminals again struck in Warrap and Western Equatoria .

Don't you care, Mr. President? I fault you, sir.


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