Home | News    Saturday 18 June 2011

South Sudan ministers invited to answer questions on $2 billion missing grain scandal

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By Philip Thon Aleu

June 16, 2011 (JUBA) – South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) has invited ministers of finance and legal affairs to answer questions on delayed investigation into the region’s massive grain scandal.

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The Legislative Assembly of Southern Sudan

The SSLA is investigating what happened to millions of U.S. dollars released to build grain stores in each of South Sudan’s ten states. The total cost of the money missing from grain orders that were payed for but not received and stores that were funded but not built is estimated to be over 2 billion U.S. dollars – similar to the region’s annual budget.

Finance ministry contractors were asked in 2009 to create 132 emergency grain stores costing over 90 million Sudanese Pounds ($34 million). Only 46 were built, the SSLA select committee has found.

Speaking to the Sudan Tribune in Juba on Tuesday, the chairperson of the SSLA committee investigating grains store costs, Deng Dau Deng, described the anomalies in the number of storage units financed using South Sudan funds and those really constructed.

“We visited Upper Nile State and we have seen what have not been built and what was built,” Deng said.

“The contract was given to 17 contractors but we have discovered that there were some sub-contractions that were given to other companies. In our verification, we have only got 27 concrete stores and 19 rough-holes."

He said that this was less than what had been agreed and paid for.

The latest intervention by South Sudan’s parliament was triggered by claims in the 2011 budget that demanded payment to contractors who had been asked to build some of the missing grain stores.

Ministers of finance and legal affairs have been summoned to SSLA house to help the lawmakers in investigating what is either huge corruption or mismanagement on a massive scale.

Former ministers of finance and legal affairs Kuol Athian and Michael Makuei Lueth, respectively who were in charge in the offices during the time when contracts were issued and scandal uncovered have also been asked to appear at August House. No date has been set for their appearance.

The committee has found that the grain stores which were built were not strategically located. It also found that in 7 of the 10 states, no new storage facilities were needed.

The House resolved to summon the minister of legal affairs to explain why the persecution of allegedly corrupt individuals has been delayed.

The minister of finance has also been invited to explain to the assembly the differences between the number of stores paid for by the government, and the number actually built.

But the assembly says all it can do is pressure the executive to take action, the SSLA cannot prosecute the culprits itself.

“The question of prosecution is left with the executive. Yes, there is a question of apathy you know. Investigation is done, nothing is happening and all these kinds of things,” MP Deng said.

The lawmaker, representing Twic East (SPLM, Jonglei State) conceded that the assembly never gave powers of prosecution to South Sudan Anti-corruption Commission meaning it only has "investigative powers.”

He did not say why the parliament, which has the power to give the anti-corruption commission the power to prosecute, has not done so.

South Sudan is due to declare independence from North Sudan on July 9 having voted in January to secede in a referendum promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

The weakness of South Sudan’s anti-graft body is symptomatic of institutional challenges that are expected to come with the region’s independence.

(ST)

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  • 18 June 2011 06:14, by Marco A. Wek

    Those ring of criminals have sure used that money for themselves. The question is, what will the SSLA do after having found thieves stole that massive amount of money? Will these thieves rebel like Gadet who stole money which was supposed to be for the army?

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    • 18 June 2011 06:23, by dinkador1

      Most SPLA dinkas are thieves, start from their leader upto those of cattle.why is it that dinkas moving with begs of dollars in their cars instead to put the money in the banks.
      One day one time they will see.

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      • 18 June 2011 12:09, by DANDHEL

        Dinkador1,Naath and others like you.. I THINK you all went to school of idiots specially you Dinkador1 you went to school of idiots in Uganda..You are not Southern Sudanese you are Ugandan..go back to Uganda focus on Ugandaaffairs rathe then Southern Sudan affairs..And you Naath try to go back to school to learn more of how to differential the particular person and the majority...

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    • 18 June 2011 07:11, by Naath

      exactely myfriend, those are the keys rings who need to bended to work with every citizens. But, those who are trying very hard to protect them, have similar trian that they are more likely to do the same. In otherward, they are may be getting a share from what is happening.

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    • 18 June 2011 20:48, by Tobiin

      Marko Anthony Wek, the scandal of money in south Sudan is more than war. I have never seen anything like this happen in America the riches nation in the world. 2 billion you are joking.the minister or whoever stole the money must face 150 years in jail, but because of his tribesman in power i know this case will not be solve therefore we must accept the truth. and by the way what is the connection between dinka warriors and corruption?

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    • 8 June 2012 13:19, by Machine

      Stop being corrupt people of God

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  • 18 June 2011 07:14, by George Bol

    How many states build their grain stores and how did these money are distributed among the states. Who is the miister of the state who received the money and how effective they use the money in their states.

    And are these $2billions given to the finance ministry in forms of $2billions or calculation as value.

    people must be keen for political mannuemvers in the South Sudan because there are things going on here.

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    • 18 June 2011 09:18, by Michael Angelo

      President Kiir must give more power to anti-corruption committees in order to prosecute those who mismanage public funds. In addition, such a huge amount of monies cannot be missing without lauching investigation to find out exactly where $2 billion go.

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  • 18 June 2011 09:23, by marie

    The grain money was distributed by the minister of finance to his cronies. I remember when the issue of the grain contracts came up, a lot of people flocked from the Diaspora, especially Canada, Australia, USA and Europe. With a short time most of them went back to their respective countries and some of them were able to buy a house worth $500, 000 and paying the money cash.
    This was a surprise to most of us. Even the prime minister of Canada take a mortgage of 20 years in order to pay his house not an hungry South Sudanese who just came out of and had been all these years in welfare.
    This alone speaks volume. I hope the anti-corruption commission would extend their investigation in Diaspora and there are a number of people who are ready to assist them with this task.

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    • 18 June 2011 09:47, by Bush

      @marie

      We have seen this a lot here, someone was naked yesterday but you can see him driving a Range Rover today, were do you think they got this money from?
      Don’t mind, all those money Generals in Juba will be brought to books one day one time, they are not going to be Generals for the rest of their lives.

      Christians United for Israel

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    • 18 June 2011 10:08, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

      Dear all;
      Please take the nature of this article positively. The SSLA is not composed of Dinka alone. The $2 billions was not meant for states dominated by Dinka. The Finance Ministers are not all Dinka if we consider States Finance Ministers. The question touched all State Ministers and former Ministers (Finance and Legal Affairs at GOSS level). It should be noted that there are shortcoming in the government of South Sudan. There is also contraversies on the issue of who to investigate and who to prosecute? GOSS itselves have not really enacted the laws or spelled out the terms of reference for Anti-Corruption Commission to discharge their duties at full scale of 100%. There is a gap that is not sealed. That is why corruption has been part of GoSS body. If we all readers and commenters help with our positive comments; we could even reason and asked a question to the President Why was he reshuffling the Ministers from one ministry to another since 2006-2010? We do believe that Ministers are practicing corruption and yet the president is in favor with them.
      We need Anti-corruption Commission to be given responsibilities of Investigating and prosecuting cases of corruption and they should be quick. I do not see whether corruption is part of the seperation as all of us are ignoring this important bad practice within our system.

      Therefore, brothers, the issue of corruption should not be accounted to specific tribe. It is an issue of States and its citizens. Just be patient and let us encourage the trend of investigation and prosecution of the culprits if found guilty.

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      • 18 June 2011 13:07, by Bush

        @Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

        My friend, Dinkas are the winners of today and losers of tomorrow in South Sudan and they are the most corrupt and greedy people and that’s been known all over of the world and you can not deny it or defend it, there are evidences.

        Look at what the president of Rwanda is doing now to the people of Rwanda in terms of fighting corruption in his country, he was not favoring or forgiving his Generals if found implicated in corruptions, but our corrupt and greedy leaders are moving freely with impunity.

        But let me tell you this, the people of South Sudan and the world are watching.

        Christians United for Israel

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        • 19 June 2011 01:56, by George Bol

          To all Dor and Naath,

          Tell me exactly how do you fight corruption?

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  • 18 June 2011 14:15, by Nhomlawda

    Has GOSS improved its accountability system after grain scandal was unravelled?
    If not, than do not waste must of your time on something that had gone but focus on preventing similar or different scandals in the future. This scandal can be investigated by Judiciary but SSLA should concentrate on prevention of corruption other than going wild on summoning individuals without legal obligation in the case.
    Does SSLA have a law in place that empower police to arrest and produce certain members of government/public accused of corruption in court within certain period of time after they are accused, if not than SSLA must do its part before going after corruption cases.
    SSLA is a useless institution that is complicit in corruption. Assembly members are supposed to enact all laws that prevent/minimise and prosecute corruption in government and public in South Sudan but they are wasting their times drinking and tribally radicalizing members of their tribes instead of attending parliament sessions regularly. What a great a shame?
    All three levels of GOSS (executive, legislature and judiciary) need complete overhaul after July 9 if this country is to go forward in development.
    South Sudan needs true nationalists in parliament, executive and judiciary.

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  • 18 June 2011 16:04, by Abikach Ayuel

    Dear friends, when our government allowed employment base on clans, that was the time I realised we have cultivate impunity ! Take example if u go to the ministry of legal affairs u will find everyone there is Nuer, go to office of President u will get to know all is there Dinkas(Gogrial) with those marks of Salva Kiir if any see those marks in his head, go to the office of Vp u will find that is all Nuer and the list is loñg. CÅn we ask ourselves why such thing happen ? Instead of victimizing one tribe as a cause then u r wrong and not far from being a pure liar. What we need to do is to get rid of such act and plant a base that will get rid of such biases. all of us are victims of what
    Is happening in our country in unless we do something about it, for corruption is man-made thing. i agree with Marko Atem Wek, pliz do not victimize Dinka and if it is matter of power being in Dinka hands then the question still remain, Do other non-Dinka ministries curb corruption in their ministries ? If no then I need to advise u so that u do not need to sound on tribal line for it doesn’t stop graft but a fuel to it.

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    • 18 June 2011 17:04, by sudinka

      Dear citizen corruption in South Sudan poverty in South Sudan and job Insecurity or the fear of being reshuffled the rigid bureaucratic methods of handling public affairs (red tape),too much greed for wealth/the desire to be rich quickly due to the low life expectancy imagine 2005 was the CPA sigh and now some have build the big houses and expensive car are if i ask one how did he/she get this amount with in short time No the will be explain.because the Absence of role models in south Sudan and fear influence every body else is embezzling state funds and say why not me? that is the lack of public accountability poor and weak govern no control no checks and balances due to rubber stamp in the parliament lack of sense of patriotism and nationalism ,and public accountability there is no strong laws to punish and handle the corrupt officials due to the lack of shame even the meager payments which did not much with the cost of living and delayed payments nepotism where by a certain tribe grouping or political party by gang up to plunder the nation.we do not allowed such in this New Nation.

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  • 18 June 2011 16:56, by WendeMajok

    Intellegency Vs Ignorant

    The fund was meant for the 10 States, for those who are talking ill of Dinka. Leave aside the Dinka States, are those structures erected in your states? If yes, what was the cost? Was the fund given to 1 person to allocate them and they didn’t reach? Was it a Dinka to do Supervision of work going on different States? Do you understand how it went missing? How sure are you about the hireachy on which things are done? What solution have you come up with?

    Shame on you guys who always talk ill of tribes before knowing the details of the information.....If I were you, I would first understand and analyse then post my view than complaining without any evident.
    Dinkador1 mentioned that he is SPLA, he is less paid....hahahahaha shame on you. How do you call yourself SPLA not SPLA soldier (go back to your dictionary or English grammar to guide you were necessary). I would appreciate if you are paid less or not paid at all or terminated because you are woking as a government staff and you are not satisfied with the government.....how about those who are not paid but they appreciate government activities? Greedy you! How do you betray yourself?!

    Hatred will not help you out....
    Dor + Nuer - Dinka = DN (Dormant Nation).

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    • 18 June 2011 19:30, by sudinka

      Is true brother wendemajok all the tribe that against Dinka in South Sudan will be short up when( Nhialic)told them that Dinka is not A problem to you people of South Sudan i did not know why people not understand since centuries that Dinka Dinka Dinka. when you are save from cleaning some body house for twenty year and still against them instead of Appreciation for good job done by Dinka .what i want to tell you do not mixed up Dinka and the SPLA they are differences. shame on you those who Abuse the tribe for nothing do you think with out Dinka there will be no billion missing we are discuss to day will get from north Arab before you miss use live the Dinka and other tribe and stop Abusing the tribe let deal with individual not tribe. if we all ways make blame accuse with out evident will not help better to come together and fight corruption state from o level Boma payam county state up to SSLA.Every one will be know that Community Development Fund (CDF) are come in the same line.the time will come when every body know that she/he doe mistake all will come back to the system I warn you and i warn you STOP TALK ABOUT DINKA IF ANY ONE REPEAT AGAIN(KE XEN BI RAN PENY AMOK)otherwise.get me there in PENYAMOK ESTATE IN EASTERN EQUATRIA KAPEOTA.

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  • 19 June 2011 03:21, by Suzzanne M

    Dear friends n fellow citizens of South Sudan,

    I don’t see how this conversation has ended up tribal, the stolen 2 billion should be a general outrage from all of us, it should not have happen, those culprit need to be charge ( it’s a crime to steal such amount of money) and those money need to be retrieve, it’s belong to us ( the Southerners) ours not individual. But instead of us focusing on how to get those money back and ways of ending such corruption and greediness from our leaders, we are at each other throat about ’tribe that, tribe this’. Don’t u see what’s happening here, some here has ended up defending robbers that rob us instead of being outrage of what they have done, just because they belong to our tribe. And the generalization of tribes got to stop, it’s taking us nowhere.

    Now I’m so excited for the declaration of South Sudan, but at the same time I fear greatly for my new country, at the pace that our leaders are going, not caring for the country or it’s people whatsoever but caring for themselves. God forbid but South Sudan is going to become one of those African countries that’s stuck in poverty forever, which should not be the case since our resources make us one of the luckiest country in the world; if those resources are put to good use. I hope I am wrong in my analysis but with our current leaders and the greediness they possess, South Sudan is heading downhill.

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  • 19 June 2011 20:53, by Emmanuel Ajang Solomon

    Thank,God at least some thing will be heard from th 2 who R responsible for the issue, now most of U can surprise when they hear the Dinka Durra Saga,but the fact is that 98% who did and benefited from this affair are Dinkas.

    My brothers, it will be a shocking knews to hear the whole story when it appears in the papers like in Citizen,the budget was 240.Million$ only to all 10 states.
    2- The state Governors were to sellect their traders within the state not Ministry of Finance, I even show the copy of the presidential degree on that matter to our Governor asking him to talk to Minister of Finance but he said no, it is not my work and told him to read the letter but he refused.
    3- The worst now is that those who have not delieverd any thing are the one getting their money now while those who did deliver like Adup Madhieu are the one suffering.

    4- The issue of payment has involve many people in the Government, which mean that our MP are not going to succeed.

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