Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Crack whip on the corrupt, activist tells S. Sudan’s Kiir

November 15, 2021 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese activist has urged President Salva Kiir to punish officials who siphon public funds abroad.

The call comes barely a day after the South Sudanese leader urged newly appointed Finance minister, Agak Achuil Lual to fight corruption.

Lual succeeded Athian Ding Athain who was fired on Friday last week.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) lauded the South Sudanese leader’s position on the fight against corruption in a country whose economy entirely depends on oil revenues.

“It is time for the leadership of the country to avail the political will for fighting corruption beyond mere making of political statements. Corruption has reduced the government capacity to effectively deliver social services to citizens,” he said.

The activist, however, said the fight against corruption will only succeed if the political leadership allow freedom of expression to prevail and facilitate all the legal processes required in the trial of corruption-related cases in the country.

PRESIDENT NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR GRAFT FIGHT

Meanwhile, Kiir’s spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny said fighting corruption would return the young nation back to another war, causing deaths and destructions.

“The responsibility of taking people to court is the responsibility of the people of South Sudan. It is not entirely for the president,” he told Eye Radio on Monday.

The presidential aide said it was not yet time to talk about corruption in the East Africa nation whose permanent constitution-making process has not yet started.

“We have not yet arrived at having a permanent constitution in the country. So, anybody now can even choose to go back to war if he is asked to pay back public money,” he explained.

According to Ateny, the country’s leaders are focusing on the implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace accord, not chasing after people who have stolen money.

“There are people who squandered money and when you ask, they will rebel and South Sudan is dealing with the revitalized peace agreement on how to bring a permanent peace and the constitution,” he stressed.

On Saturday, Kiir asked the Finance minister to pay the country’s civil servants.

“Make sure all civil servants and the organized forces are paid monthly. If you do that it is not only you who has helped yourself, you would have helped me and the people of South Sudan. This is very important comrade Agak,” he explained.

Civil servants in South Sudan have gone for months without pay over inflation.

Kiir accused the former South Sudanese Finance minister of dishonesty, citing his alleged failure to disclose the exact amount of money in the country’s treasury.

He warned the new Finance minister not to follow the footsteps of his predecessor.

(ST)