Home | News    Tuesday 21 January 2014

Lakes governor ignores pleas of students to restore allowances

January 20, 2014 (RUMBEK) - Over hundred students who are studying at various universities in East Africa have launched a fresh complaint to South Sudan’s central government accusing Lakes State military caretaker Governor of undermining promises of education funding made during the 2010 elections.

The union of Lakes state students says that 101 of the 474 students from Lakes state who are studying abroad with government support have not received their allowances since they were suspended in December.

A student spokesperson, who did not want to be named for fear of retribution, told Sudan Tribune on Monday that the central government in Juba should quickly intervene in the dispute between the students and Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol, who was installed as caretaker governor of Lakes state a year ago.

Lakes state has lost its "system of government" the statement said, adding that Dhoul’s leadership style could not even be compared to "military rule because some of the soldiers know [a] much better the system of leadership".

Governor Dhuol and his deputy Mabor Achol Kuer are doing more harm than good, according to the student spokesperson.

"Dhuol is interfering with the civil servants by chopping off their salary and terminating students’ contracts without any legal procedure" the union said.

During the 2010 general election the incumbent President Salva Kiir Mayardit promises to improve education in order to address South Sudan’s high illiteracy rates.

Under Chol Tong Mayay, the previous governor, Lakes State’s council of ministers approved 474 students, many of whom were civil servants, to study mainly in Uganda and Kenya.

However Governor Dhuol suspended all funds approved to pay for their studies.

"If you go to Lakes State by now, you will hear the cry of its citizens about the state leadership because they are lacking any proper system of government and/or with no directions. All the political appointees and parliamentarians are sidelined and have no any words for developmental issues for the citizens and the state as whole."

The spokesperson said accused Governor Dhuol of diverting the money into a private account. Students were having academic materials like lap-tops, books and mattresses detained by hostel wardens in Uganda and Kenya as payment for unpaid hostel fees.

When students attempted to address this with the Governor he threatened to arrest their delegation and told them to ask their parents or join the month-long rebellion against the government if they wanted more money.

Governor Dhuol’s comments "insulted us" the union’s spokesperson said, asking "what is the connection between us asking money and rebels".

Lakes state government maintained its silence over the accusations when contacted by Sudan Tribune on Monday.