April 12, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s government has announced to prosecute the potential culprits who have cheated the government hundreds of millions of US dollars in the so-called Dura saga.
Since 2008 the government through the ministry of finance and economic planning lost more than half a billion South Sudanese pounds, which it paid to fraudulent, mostly paper companies, when its strategic food reserve program, turned into a looting a spree.
Hundreds of companies, some only one day old, were given contracts by the ministry of finance and economic planning to purchase and deliver food items to the ten states of the country and to sell them at a subsidized price and remit the funds back to the government chest.
Upon the delivery and provision of certificate acknowledging the delivery and receipts at the destinations from the concerned state governments, the companies were supposed to be paid the full amount incurred in the process.
However, most of the companies contracted did not purchase or deliver the food items to the states but connived with senior state officials who provided fake receipts and certificates and that made it possible for the culprits to get away with hundreds of millions of money.
The government’s spokesperson, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, on Thursday announced to the press after the cabinet meeting that the report on the Dura saga was discussed and that a resolution was passed to investigate and arrest the culprits involved.
Marial, who also made the statement on the state-owned South Sudan Television, said the minister of justice, John Luk Jok, and the minister of finance, Kosti Manibe, were directed by the cabinet to immediately carry out further investigations, prepare evidences and arrest the culprits.