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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Lakes state Governor, citizens voice their opinions

By Manyang Mayom

May 13, 2011 (RUMBEK) – The governor of Lakes state, Chol Tong Mayay, who was elected in 2010, has came under heavy criticism from Lakes state youth both in South Sudan and the Diaspora. The governor is criticised for not tackling insecurity, the lack of infrastructure, high unemployment rates and absence of a well equipped hospital.

Lakes state governor Chol Tong Mayay (photo by Manyang Mayom)
Lakes state governor Chol Tong Mayay (photo by Manyang Mayom)
Shadarch Maper Adong, a student from the state said that “there are no social services being rendered to the people. There is no electricity in the state capital.” He also accused politicians in the state of “serving their own interests” and decried the “taxing of local communities who have no source of incomes”.

According to another student, James Molana Kok, “the rule of the ex-governor, Daniel Awet Akot and the newly elected governor Chol Tong Mayay are very different. […] Governor Chol is failing us in terms of insecurity in the state”. Kok went on to describe several crimes for which “nobody has been arrested till today”. He saw cattle rustling as a key issue, for example, in a recent incident in Cueibet, Chol “failed to visit the area”.

Kok lauded Chol’s renovation of the state house but was concerned about the level of corruption in the state.

Francis Kau, from Lakes, now studying in Kampala blames the state’s journalist who report on issues with a “lack of journalistic ethical standards” and “lack impartiality”.

Peter Thon Kuotwel said that the “ex-Governor Daniel Awet Akot was always in the field when any incident that took place. When we come to the current government, led by governor Chol Tong, I am sorry I can not describe what I know about him.”

Mayor Lueth, a student in Australia defended Governor Chol, saying compared to the rule of the ex-governors, John Lat Zacheria and Daniel Awet, he is an improvement. Lueth believes Chol has aided the development of the state.

The caretaker of ex-governor Telar Ring Deng, said Deng had done a great deal to clean up Rumbek town and established a pricing system for good which allowed citizens to buy food at a reduced price. He also established a scheme which allows farmers to sell their goods tax free.

Since his appointment Chol, has renovated the State house, guest house, the state secretarial general offices, and the police offices. He also brought 12 patrol cars to the state.

Since Rumbek was recaptured in 1997 from the Sudan Armed Forces of north Sudan by Sudan People’s Liberation Army the state has seen little development, whereas the seat of government – Central Equatoria state, is receiving a great deal of investment.

Mark Ochieng Maker, from Lakes said “I know our people very well, although you give them the good service, they will still blame you.”

Jacob Dior, another resident, blamed “the people in power” and “old people” who he blamed for glorifying the past. He felt the danger inherent in this was that it could lead the next generation into conflict, to become heroes like their forefathers.