South Sudanese were greatly dismayed when information leaked on the infamous Silwana Scandal, where a Sovereign Letter of Guarantee was to be issued for an amount of 650,000,000 USD. Fortunately, the population was relieved once H.E. the President took a bold decision by directing the then Minister of Finance- Hon. Athian Ding to cancel this corrupted transaction.
Wasting no time and before the dust settled, the cartels swore vengeance against their perceived spoilers of the great loot. A source close to the cartels said ” The ring leader had warned the Hon. Minister of Finance that if he jeopardizes this transaction that there will be repercussions” And that is exactly what they resorted to at the onset of the cancellation, the ring leader and enablers returned to Juba from Dubai and immediately began their campaign to ensure both the Hon. Minister of Finance- Athain Diing and the Hon. Governor of Bank of South Sudan – Dier, whom they believed to have advised H.E. the President on the details of this transaction and its ramifications for South Sudan and its future generations.
Despite the positive progress in the economy as a result of the reforms in the fiscal and monetary policies, which were bearing fruits in the interest of the population, and the salary arrears were greatly reduced, however, the cartels couldn’t care less. All they wanted is someone to push their greedy interests at the expense of the greater population of South Sudan, hence manipulating H.E the President to signing the Decree for the relive of the Minister of Finance- Athian.
“The New Minister of Finance- Agaak rushed into spending all the reserves that were set aside for Budget Support and Salaries in his first month in the office” Said an anonymous source from the Ministry of Finance, further adding that.” most of these payment cheques were bogus claims for companies that did not bring anything”.
These claims were confirmed by an anonymous source at the Central Bank of South Sudan, they said ” there was 200 Million USD reserved by the Ministry of Finance for budget and Salaries but now that has all been mismanaged”
In addition to the mismanagement of the reserves, the Minister pushed the former Governor- Dier to issue sovereign guarantees which he refused, citing laws and procedures that have to be followed.
The anonymous source further added that “the Minister wanted to start the overdraft and this thing has been stopped by the council of Ministers because it was causing high inflation and some of the money used for overdraft belongs to commercial banks, and we cannot take depositors monies because it causes disturbances to the economy and trust is lost for the Central Bank”
The Cartels joined forces with their Puppet Minister to remove the Governor- Dier and install another puppet. The best Puppet came in the form of a well-known drunkard, in the name of Moses Makur. The infamous Governor is well known in town for his irresponsible drinking habits and once using the services of a Vodoo/ Magician/Kujur so he can become a Governor. “The Governor Makur gave 12 brand new V8’s, 500,000 USD and 5,000,000 SSP in 2016 so he can become the Governor, when he failed to become governor he opened a case against the Kujur person asking to return his things but the court ruling was for Kujur person and was told to keep everything, and this has made my brother Makur very upset, put him in debts and make him drink alcohol everydays” Said a source close to Governor- Makur. The source added that Makur has several arrest warrants for defaulting on debts because of his irresponsible borrowing, even on the day of his appointment there were outstanding arrest warrants that are still there until this day, only being saved by this immunity as the Governor. How could such a person be trusted be the custodian of the Nations Coffers?
The Minister and Governor have now turned these institutions into non- functioning liabilities, the Ministry of Finance has lost direction because the Minister had and still has no plans or programs to implement and the steering the Ministry in the direction he found it on, instead he has derailed the Ministry from its progressive path. An anonymous source from the Ministry said ” We have never experienced such confusion and disorder at the Ministry, nothing is happening, the Minister and 1st Undersecretary are never in office, hiding from the problems that they have created themselves, something has to happen, we cannot continue like this”. The frustration and lack of progress, particularly the delayment in Salaries which were greatly reduced by the former Minister are now being brought back. It seems the current Minister has taken the country 10 steps back.
His Counterpart at the Bank of South Sudan has also brought the Central Bank to a standstill. A source at the Central Bank said ” Governor Makur is not adding anything and the Bank is once again loosing direction and we worried that if something is not fixed we will return to era worse than Governor Jamal Wani, because important documents are piling up in his office, he’s coming to work drunk and leaving office in the morning to go home and sleep during working hours”. This sounds like a serious situation that must be addressed soonest, these people are entrusted with National Assets and Sensitive positions with their decisions affecting the livelihood of millions of the population of South Sudan. It was no secret that the Governor – Makur had a drinking problem, it was also said that on the day of the announcement of his Decree of Appointment, he drank to point of falling on his head and bruising his face. However, he was given the benefit of the doubt because everyone understood that with responsibility comes sacrifices. But as reported by several individuals close to Governor- Makur and at the Central Bank, he has resorted to his old habits. I guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! A source in his inner circle said “When we go for lunch during work, his alcohol is put in a soda tin so no one know he is consuming marisa, he even take with him to his office in Central Bank”
It is said by sources at the Central Bank that the sovereign Letters of Guarantees and Overdraft/deficit financing are being approved and processed as directed by the Governor and as instructed by the Minister of Finance.
Cartels, lobbyist, Ministers, or any person /politician wielding influence, the takeaway here is clear. These institutions must be rescued from the hands of these irresponsible and Incompetent individuals, sources in the market have said “The dollar and the prices of food will go up again in the market in the coming weeks and the signs are already showing”. The few that still have the interest of this country and its future generations at heart, advise H.E. the President to appoint capable individuals that will work for the interest of this country, the citizens have suffered for far too long and for once, they deserve some stability in the economy, sustainable stability. The major source of economic failure in South Sudan is link to corruption, mismanagement of the public sector, political intrigue, and a misguided monetary policy in Central Bank and Ministry of Finance have produced an economic calamity in the country.
James Peter Marial
Freelance and Investigative Journalist
Author can be reached at JP.Marial@gmail.com
Disclaimer: The opinions/views expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Hot In Juba, its affiliates or its members.