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S. Sudanese students’ union in Uganda denies misusing funds

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October 13, 2014 (KAMPALA) – The South Sudanese students’ union in Uganda has disputed claims over the mismanagement of funds, saying the allegations have no legal basis.

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Lual Jiel Magok, the vice-president of the South Sudanese students’ union in Kampala, on 7 September 2014 (ST)

On Monday, Muorrin Maker Pat, the chairperson of the anti-corruption commission for student unions, accused the leadership of the Kampala-based union of fraud, on the grounds the finance minister, secretary-general and information secretary had allegedly mishandled money.

The accusations are in relation to $25,000 in missing funds from a $150,000 donation received from the president’s office on behalf of the United States.

He told Sudan Tribune that 10,000 South Sudanese pounds (SSP) and $1,500 accrued in expenses by the trio while in Juba recently to lobby for funding has also not been in properly accounted for.

However, union finance minister Victoria Nyandur has dismissed the allegations, in turn accusing Pat of acting out of self interest.

The minster said Pat had become disgruntled when she refused to hand over the $1,500, instead referring him to the union president.

“You write your letter and stamped it, give it to the president of the union, not me as the finance minister, because I don’t have [the] right to give you $1,500. But if you ask me over the phone to give you $1,500 dollar it does not make sense,” added the finance minister.

Nyandur says the allegations levelled against her by Pat are baseless, adding the funds were handed over to the union leadership.

She denied any wrongdoing in relation to the funds and said she had nothing to fear from threatened legal action by her accusers.

“I can’t fear anything, because I never took anything. It is because I know that person has [a] personal problem with me, because he call[ed] me over the phone when I was giving out the money, that he wants me to give him some money. I told him, ‘My friend, you need to wait, so we need give the fund to the students who are in hardship,’” said Nyandur.

Nyandur also denied that Pat had been threatened with arrest unless he ceased talking publicly about the alleged missing funds.

“We are here in Uganda for the purpose of education, none of us is either an official in the government. How can a student arrest [a] student like him or her?” said Nyandur in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Monday.

Lual Jiel, the vice-president of the South Sudanese students’ union in Kampala has also refuted the claims by Pat, saying the accusations were driven by confusion and personal differences with the union leadership.

He confirmed his office had received the funds donated by president Salva Kiir to assist the student union.

“Those people who went to Juba were the finance minister, the secretary-general and the information secretary. They came with $150,000 in cash; that money was handed over to the leadership of the union,” he said.

Jiel accused Pat of failing to back his allegations over financial mismanagement with evidence, saying the funds were spent on Independence Day celebrations.

“In fact this guy has no information about all these just got rumours, because in fact we got $10,000 from the external security director and then $5,000 from the vice-president,” said Jiel.

“We use that $15,000 for carrying out our independence anniversary celebrations. It was at this point which cost almost $20,000 USD dollar and other expenses,” Jiel added.

Deputy legal affairs advisor for the student union Deng Gai Gatluak says the allegations will be handed over to the union’s audit chamber for investigation.

“These allegations will be given to audit chamber commission to audit whether the allegations are true or false,” he said.

“To me, as the deputy for legal affairs for [the] South Sudanese students’ union in Uganda, I believe in [the] general principle of the law that says every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he added.

He called on Pat to produce evident “beyond reasonable doubt” to back his claims.

The South Sudanese students’ union in Uganda is composed of 22 executives and 400 members of parliament across the country’s 10 states.

(ST)

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  • 15 October 2014 05:47, by Nyesi Ta

    This man by the name Kiir has problem with money. Where on earth does a president has to distribute money all over the place. When he came to DC, he distributed money to his supporters, paid for their hotels, reimbursed air tickets to those who flew and rented buses to those who travelled by land. Kiir is the source of corruption in RSS. Now he is training students, a bunch of future corrupt thugs

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  • 15 October 2014 05:55, by Nyesi Ta

    Is there any use to have the ministry of education in our republic, when the incompetent president who does not understand his duties and responsibilities interferes with the functions of other jurisdictions in his thuggish government.

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  • 15 October 2014 06:04, by Nyesi Ta

    Look at this poor ss student being spoiled with money. He looked hungry, tired & prone to steal if he has access to cash. Instead of the ministry of education to give them full scholarships that covers their education, accommodation, and food so that they concentrate with education, the president gives cash to the students. Now it has caused some suspicion among students.

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