Zooming-in on corrupt officials in South Sudan
BY: Urbano Tipo , SUDAN , [email protected]
The 1St VP and President of South Sudan , Salva Kiir'S statement to SSLA (Parliament) did reveal that undersecretaries, director-generals and directors in GOSS are the ones responsible for corruption in South Sudan . There is an element of truth in the statement for a number of reasons.
These individual technocrats are responsible for everyday running of the government assumingly in an efficient manner. Instead they misled the government for a long time and hindered development in the south. Now, they have been identified to have spear-headed corruption.
Since they know all the tricks in the books, they can easily fiddle with figures and approvals. These guys are in-charge of daily government expenditure and purchase of goods including overseas contracts. They are the sole body of GOSS. They have misled the Ministers and misguided them to give blind approvals or pass any wrong decisions.
One such example of corruption was a recent lost of student‚Äôs bursary of about 320,000 US dollars. The money was intended for students at Ugandan Universities. The money went to a different personal account of an individual. Was this done by a Minister or Under-Secretary?
Also, contracts were issued to purchase food as part of food security. The Council of Ministers or SSLA did not have the knowledge of this huge expenditure of about 4-7 Billion Sudanese Pounds. Food was never purchased or expired maize was purchased from Kenya . This amount is not accounted for up to present. The Minister of Finance told the SSLA to form an investigation committee to clarify the matter. They even inflated contracts to three or four fold in order to retrieve some money from the contracts as kickbacks.
These gentle-men probably embezzled a lot of money from government for long period of time without being noticed. Thanks to the VP and President of South Sudan who finally revealed them.
These are few individuals who can get punished by law. They do not have immunity from persecution. Anti-Corruption Commission should come in to investigate them and bring them to justice. Investigation should start with their qualification credentials and previous experiences. There are those because they come from the right tribe got to those positions without proper screening or even competitive interviews. The only experience they have is ‚ÄúI fought in the War‚ÄĚ.
Constitutional holders should not be allowed to protect these kinds of individuals. They have siphoned public money into their private accounts and built houses in Juba . They do not have the spirit of nationalism. Instead they have hindered development in the South. Commission for Civil Services in coordination with anti-corruption commission should be given full responsibilities to clean the corrupt system.
There are a lot of experienced southerners abroad or a home that can get employed and replace these corrupt individuals. Without proper screening, GoSS can't get dedicated and nationalist who are ready to do efficient and wonderful job for the south.
South have been cheated and robbed of money by a handful of individuals. In the final analysis, they have to appear in front of the law to defend themselves.