By Michael Koma

The Minister of Information has said South Sudanese are lazy. I bet to differ. Are we lazy? Is it right to brand South Sudanese lazy people?

Is he talking about people outside the government or including the officials. If all of us are lazy it means we are ruled by a lazy government. A government that sleeps, a government that cannot produce, a government that relies on foreign handouts, a government that is on its knees from day one, a government that cannot pay its civil servant, a government that only begs, a government that has no plans for its people.

We are idle because the government is idle too. Since the independence we have not seen an initiative from the government to improve things in the country. The only tarmac in the country was built with aid money from the Americans.

The new hospital building in Juba was donated by the Chinese government. Kiir Mayardit Hospital in Rumbek was donated. The Bridge in Warrap was funded by the European Union. The under construction new Bridge in Juba is a gift from Juba. Juba Urban Water project is funded by Japan; Juba Electricity is an Eritrean investment. The government has failed to do the basic things for the people of South Sudan.

The person who said that the people of South Sudan are lazy is a shameless perjurer. How can a lazy people fight a 21 years’ protracted war until they attained freedom, if they are lazy will they have the stamina to continue the struggle unabated they achieved victory. We are not lazy.

The people of South Sudan are industrious, brave and hardworking. Our people were letdown by the government. The government failed people by preferring to work with foreigners in disregard to explore the potentials of its people. Government has instituted policies of nepotism, favouritism and tribalism.

If a minister is appointed he will bring and appoint his relatives or friends in key positions. I know what I am talking about. If the minister is a Dinka Bor, he will fill the key seats with Borians. If the vice president is a Bari not only a Bari but Bari of a particular clan, he will bring all his clansmen/women to take important positions in one of the highest national office of the country. This nepotism virus and the disease of friendship have crept into the NGOs and UN agencies.

How comes an official can brand South Sudanese people as lazy forgetting most of the Ministers were bunch of poor chaps collected from the streets straight to the office. Before holding the ministerial portfolios they don’t have houses and cars.

They lived in ghetto and hustled to town. After getting government jobs, those who bragged that South Sudanese are lazy; are living on taxpayers money; they have free house, free cars, free fuels, free food, free medical allowance, tax-free imports, free tickets, free hotel bills, free per diems, the ministers get everything free. They get loan from commercial banks they don’t payback. They have dried the coffers of the bank. They killed Nile Commercial Bank after taking loans and refused to repay. Where do you think the so-called South Sudanese millionaires sprout from? Riches from a free taxpayers money is corruption.

We are not lazy. South Sudanese can produce food if the government cut tax exemptions to the superrich and directed oil and non-oil money to communities to do business and farming. Stop the 10% bribes for a person to win government contract. In other words, government should diversify the economy by investing in agriculture, industries, education, roads and bridges.

Punish the real thieves, work within the budgets, empower the audit chamber, setup a special courts for corruptions and public borrowing should be through the parliament, parliament should vet ministers prior to appointments. Teach people how to fish. They will not wait for handouts or beg officials for food and money. Show them way to self-reliance they will show you their valour for production instead of calling people lazy.

How can you call your electorates lazy while you have delivered on your promises?