BRAVO MR. PRESIDENT, WE DON’T NEED ANTI-FIRE SAFES; WE WANT ANTI-THEFT SAFES TO SAVE OUR ECONOMY AND SERVE OUR AUTONOMY!
“The two ministers transferred the money to the private company without knowledge or authorization from the president or the cabinet for alleged purchase of anti-fire safes on behalf of the government.”
There is something I have seen here, which is beyond the act of corruption. I am of the view that this corruption scandal is by the whole government, not the two ministers of ministries. And in case you rush in with your why-and-how reaction to my allegation, then let me defend myself from the same source of the news. Seven Million dollars (or about 27 million SSP or so!), in better mathematically financial terms, is US $ 8,000,000 – 40,600 = 7,959, 400! For what? For buying safes! What are safes! Boxes for keeping cash in the ministries! And how safe is a Safe? As ‘safe’ as the Safe in which similar money theft occurred in the Office of the President (they abbreviated it OoPs…!) last March! How about the safes in the C.BOSS (Central Bank of South Sudan)? They are not ‘anti-fire’! (Fire Brigade, take note!).
To call the devil by its real name, SOMEBODY IS CAUGHT RED-HANDED! If the ‘English Grammar Parliament’ could grant me just one more Republican Decree (say Publishing Decree) to twist it round: SOMEBODIES HAVE BEEN CAUGHT RED-HANDED! And I must defend the use of the plural here. Eight million (seven being an understatement) for ‘anti-fire’, not even fire-proof, safes was not really meant for the two thieving ministries, just as I have suspicion that the ministers could be scapegoats. It must have been a project for all the …(ask me not how much each safe costs and for how many…) ministries. Including the OOP’s safes, which are no longer safe after thousands (another name for millions) of both dollars and pounds (SSP) were siphoned out. Apparently, during the called-for another investi-n-gation, the OOP’S (Office of President, Salva…) would be the cause of this project because of the ongoing theft investigation as a result of unsafe safes.
Oops sorry! I made a mistake. The money was not burned but stolen. And if so, then I am hereby gratefully congratulating — and also urging — His Excellency, the President, to press on with his new project of procuring ‘Anti-theft Safes’ to save our economy, and preserve our autonomy. The safer safe we need from the president is what he has just done to the two principals: SACKING THEM. And not them alone but along with the elusive 75.
I hear what is going on right now is ‘investigation’ (investigation within investigation) by the same Anti-Corruption Committee of Hon. John Lul that receives both news of theft and powers for investigation from the Office of the President (OOPs!). No wonder, their recommendation on the ongoing ‘OOP’s Theft’ is just ending. Ending up confirming that the thefts and thieves are both real. Oops! Instead of implementing the Presidential Decree of ‘Legal Action’ against the culprits, The John Lul Committee sluggishly and ambiguously recommended that the named criminals, who are top directors in the Office of the President, be subjected to ‘Administrative Action’, whatever that one means. With my little literal interpretation, ‘Administration Action’ means punishment against them by the administration. Which one? The OoP’s one, which is they themselves! And this action may range, as determined by the administrator (whoever that might be), from warning them, suspending them, or dismissing them.
Of course, prosecuting and Sending them to jail is ‘Legal Action’, which is the Presidential Decree, not Anti-Corruption Decree christened ‘Administration Action’. But don’t be surprised, with this anti-correction (correction: Anti-Corruption) committee, these two or three directors and secretaries from OOPS (sorry) may bounce back in no time with no explanation as usual. And then continue to steal from the public coffers using the name of the Big Man, till they get rich, then get reached, then dismissed…RICHER!
I learn that, in China, Economic Crime can land somebody in hot soup. How hot is that? Life imprisonment or hanging! How much is that? As low as 30,000 US dollars (I was told)! Suppose we drain our economy down the drains of corruption, and, as usual rush to China or so to bail us out, say with the 8,000,000,000 dollars that they pledged to us during our president’s first trip last year; or the 32,000,000,000 dollars that Japan promised our president in his first trip this year, the donors will spend their dollars on us on condition that they punish such thieves using the laws that generate and protect such dollars. God forbid, all the — or even more than — 75 thieves (according to ‘The Letter from Above’ of 2012) will queue up for the gallows…Chinese Legal Massacre!
Since this letter is the second one for congratulating and motivating him to do more, I may not blame him for the weakness of the war against graft. So let me heap it all unto weak laws. Of course, there is no law that is weak but the enforcer. The law implementer can be the top boss or his law enforcement agencies, namely the Lul’s, the Pieng’s, the Makoi’s as a few to mention. So what is the cause of that Lull in the Lul’s Committee’s implementation? Influence, maybe by people of affluence. For example, and I quote the same source that broke this corruption scandal.
“A similar attempt failed in 2007 when the authorities tried to detain and prosecute the former finance minister, Arthur Akuen Chol, also member of the Council of States, over corruption. Akuen was unlawfully set free by his community members who mobilized and stormed the detention center where he was being kept.” This exactly is what I wrote about in my first similar open letter supporting ‘The Letter from Above’, the first OoP’s Letter to the 75 corrupt officials in Kiir’s government by Kiir himself, which I believe is being implemented in bits now. The analysis goes in part as follows– which I gave a very monotonously verbose title of:
‘THE LETTER FROM ABOVE’, AND SALVA’S SALVAGING POLICY, AND THE DILEMMA OF REPLACING HIRING SQUAD WITH FIRING SQUAD AGAINST IMPUNITY BY IMMUNITY FROM THE COMMUNITY’.‘THE OOP’S DILEMMA: This is the ‘die-lemma’ on the table of the president of South Sudan: Immunity by Impunity and the Dilemma of Replacing Hiring Squad with Firing Squad.
“…The parable of the Bible aside, let us bring the point home. I am talking about impunity, the type protected by immunity, which is backed up by the community. Our man is in a dilemma. What is a dilemma? It is a lose-lose condition or the opposite situation whereby one is forced to choose between two extremes. Say, being asked by Yau-Yau rebels to give them your mother or your father to kill, or by Tong-Tong (LRA) or Janja-weed to give up your daughter or sister to be ‘married’ when you are the spectator, or even by your electorates to save the republic (your government officials) or the public (the ordinary citizens) of your country. Another term used with the dilemma in the heading of this piece is salvaging, a word close to salvation and Salvatore in our South Sudanese reactionary dictionary. This is not a concoction of an adjective for Salva. No. To salvage is to save, to rescue or restore due to a certain condition. So when used in relation to the name of our president here, the writer suggests if Salva’s Salvation or Salvaging brand of leadership is not blended with another well designed extreme, the dilemma will make the going very tough as explained here.
Back to the impunity issue, it is a fact well known in South Sudan as well as elsewhere in Africa, that if you sacked a minister or a commissioner, you have sacked their tribe from your government. I call it a dilemma because the ‘sacked community’ will storm the office of the ‘sacker’ and threaten him with a revenge action of creating malicious militias against his government. Indeed, the new former minister will turn sinister as soon as they read the ‘letter of disappointment’ that automatically makes them feel justified to send their boys to ‘The Republic of Militialand’ against his dictatorship. Yea, he becomes a dictator upon firing ‘their son’, as they, whose son he is hiring, will bombard the media with congratulatory messages, “Long live our Hero, the Great Democrat!” As this chorus rumbles in from Community B, the incoming one, another chorus tumbles out from Community A, the outgoing lot, “Wrong Live our Villain, the Great Dictator!” And here lies the psychological monster on the bed of dilemma. Keep the government as it is? No, it is too obese from political accommodation, sir! Downsize it to solve that obesity? No, it is too lean, causing ethnic malnutrition towards elections, Your Excellency!”
Your Excellency, now that we have submitted against our wills to the old notion being adopted in our new nation that every problem comes from outside the system, I have a few observations to make for the good of your administration:
Your turn-the-left-cheek style of leadership has been hurting us in the hand of your lieutenants since independence. For instance, the committee you have formed to investigate the billion-dollar scandal must have (if you hadn’t) known this near 8-million theft, which was a secret openly discussed even in sacred places. To leak it now after danger, some boy in the name of that …Daffy Investment Ltd. was even leaked to Kenyan social media as the instant millionaire going about town in synchronized plate-numbered hottest autos and buying houses in cash in leafy suburbs of Nairobi City! So what made news to both local and international public six months ago is now news to the Government of South Sudan! And this is how it kills our nascent nation, you are informed to act when all the money is sent and spent long ago!
Impunity has been very commonplace both in GOSS and GORSS (Governments of South Sudan before and after the independence). However, something cool for me in you here. You act God! You allow a your political and economic sinners enough time to do the damage till the judgment. We know God is infallible but this (God forgive!) is the only weakness I see in Him. Some sinners are made to get away with it or even die before that Judgment Day. And that is where I, despite being a preacher, disagree with the Bible…that the souls of the sinners will be preserved and then woken up and judged later…who said the soul of the former minister of the ‘Former Minister for Ethnicity and Community Deployment’ will properly remember and account for the 8 million that its container (body) stole during the earth’s wild erstwhile life? This is sheer blunder used to condone pure plunder, this is impunity here on earth as well as there in heaven! For example, the community whose sons you are now sacking will cry foul and pin the whole deal on tribalism, nepotism, and favourism, everything-ism. And that is only if they do not have sons with powerful arms, I mean armed arms, to act ‘Prison Break III’, the South Sudan style. In short, the OOPs, Your Excellency’s office, cannot convince them why now the third minister for finance is to roast in coolers just for 7 million dollars when the previous ones (Akuien and Kuol) are resting in peace, enjoying the proceeds of their ministerial tenures, with the scandal of a similar figure but in billions? Sir, with such questions, which are indirect cautions, be afraid, be very afraid on your road to 2015!
Another observation, sir, now that political taboo terms have compulsorily started featuring in our public fora like drinking pubs and social media hubs such as this, there is need to admit that the end of the second term is here. Or should I say the beginning of third term is near? Reader, it is my right to call that term ‘Third Term’. Others refer to it as Second Term. I mean 2015. Both are right in their own ways. But my concern here is that such too early talks are driving our leaders nuts. They want money, enough money to pay a vote/r upfront since there is no more separation-versus-unity fear factor in the next SPLM-based elections. It is one’s money or one’s words. For this reason, grabbing or graft is the order of the day. The Remedy? Like doctors whose business is in treating a disease, I still warn that prevention is better than intervention. In short, when will this looming reshuffle come?
And in case it will still come ‘bukra’ as usual, this is the concern. It will run into campaign period, and almost nobody will blame you if you ‘serialize’ the reshuffle of the government. I mean there must be temptation of not changing the cabinet wholesale, but drop them by installment; and install the loyal ones by this political installment so that the change-diehards like this internet critic will have their iron hearts molten one by one on monthly Republic Decrees that decrease the government in line with the Oop’s Letter to the 75. Dropping the 75 administrators or 30-something executives over 12 months will not only take you the next two years of Republican Disciplining by Decreeing but will also convert for you millions of voters. At this rate, even David Yau-Yau can vote you into that paradoxical third-in-second term.
But beware! I mentioned before that our brand of politics is communal. This is the formula: you sack one minister or governor, you sack one tribe or state. And the more you keep them, the more you keep the more away from supporting your administration. But to me, what is better is a an administrative overhaul, an overall reshuffle so that the current drowning men cannot clutch at our few straws now floating on the viscous lake of an inedible oil. However, I do not contend that it will contain this 2015-inspired corruption, but will open a newer chapter and change the status quo that is a springboard for the current rampant corruption. As it is also difficult to conclude such debates, I hereby run it into the the second part and the conclusion of the first letter I wrote on my blog (www.weakleak.wordpress.com) supporting your Letter to 75 last year, here.
Aside with my illustrative blog features in the elusive fight against corruption, to be direct to the title of this piece of mine, which was intended for our nation’s peace of mind, I thus prescribe the solution. And this must proscribe the victims. For the case of South Sudan and for the sake of South Sudanese, especially the dilemma created by the previous ‘Letter 75’, Mr. President should adopt tougher measures this time; I mean this time of reshuffling, if any, or if it would not arrive when we are still alive with the yoke of austerity sanctions. Now that he (Gen. Salva) is faced with the dilemma of offering his trademark salvaging policy (allow me to brand it Salva’s Salvation Solution) either for the good of his notion (regime) or for the betterment of his nation (people), there is need this time for wisdom; not the one of 2010 but the one for 2015!
To make it even clearer, I rephrase it this way. Whereas I subscribe to Gen. Salva Kiir’s notion of declaring austerity budget not really on the salaries (self-awarded to the tune of US $ 7 million) of the constitutional post holders at the expense of the rest of developmental projects; and while maintaining ‘peacekeepers’ in the government at the expense of the public livelihoods, I would rather I were their hangman; because they have kept our country at ransom. So I beg to be excused but not accused if I call it political anaemia: this idea to ‘rent’ some errant citizens so that they stay and stay, and become erratic denizens in the government and buy themselves into forcible fame by impossible game, hence making our government develop administrative obesity, which squeezes the infant nation into economic famine.
However, I still appreciate the president’s notion for the unity of our nation, that peaceful approach, call it Salva’s salvaging handling. In the best of his speeches, the president made me believe that he is not paying salaries, he is paying ‘peace price’. So for how long, Your Excellency? For how long will you pay ‘Peace Funds’ to the unpatriotic ones to pin them down so as to keep peace in our land? And while paying this so-called peace price, will you as well pay peace prize to those who made it possible? If not so, then that is why I am (I mean the citizen) complaining. It is injustice to pay peace price to buy peace from somebody who is threatening to take it away at the expense of paying a prize to reward somebody who has labored to bring peace home. So if applicable, pay both peace price and peace prize: to whom it may concern and not to whom it may coincide with.
As if that is not enough, to be direct to the solution again, I join the growing voices on the fate of the fake nationalists; sack them together with those who back them! Yes sir, this is a self-presented political excuse of downsizing the extra large government to the demand of our austerity budget. The only disappointment is that they have already budgeted themselves into the very austerity budget of that single-digit billion South Sudanese Pounds, a budget less than half of what we are forcing them to refund to the nation. While we still argue over the dilemma, I urge our president to implement the sacking amidst threats of community backing because it is our moral duty as informed citizens to sensitize and sanitize our communities into believing that to be a first class citizen, you must support the nation, and not the person, because this nation is an amalgam of about 10,000,000 persons. That is why we deem it wise for President Salva to salvage the nation and savage the person, especially the ones on the list, including those who are on the lists.
In case of any resultant question like “the ones on which list?” Sorry, I cannot answer that question, not because there is a caution but because I am equally confused. Just as there are (according Uncle Alier) ‘So many agreements dishonoured’ in Khartoum, there are so many black lists dishonoured in Juba. To list the Big Three of the lists, there is this hot one, 1- The 75 or The Golden Jubilee List (by the way, our corruption is at a Jubilee stage according to the ranking of anniversaries), 2- The American 16 and, 3- The Elijah Malok List, which he threatened to publicize in the Media had he not been caught by his ‘expiry date’ while still toying with a legal date with the ‘borrowers’ during his governorship of our national Money Store. Elijah Malok Aleng is the former boss for BOSS (Bank of South South/ern Sudan), now Central Bank of South Sudan (I like it ‘Central BOSS’). He committed a crime of trying to ‘advertize’ those who borrowed to death our only war economy national commercial bank, Nile Commercial Bank. Adieu my dear NCB (with my money therein)! There is this political game called ‘playing with fire’. Did Uncle Elijah play with fire? Is there any similar group of goons telling our president that he is playing with fire by threatening to fire someone by sending his open letter? I thought it was ‘Letter from Above’, which needn’t be questioned, cautioned or ignored.
Besides, there are complaints, from both the affected and the infected comrades, about the openness of ‘The Letter from Above’. The letter has divided the country (as well as the world) into two opinion groups. While Group A is arguing that The Letter should not have been such open, Group B is bickering that it should have been much open. To me, opening up the letter means sacking the 75 and closing it means backing them up, and let things move on. By the way, I also believe in the argument that it is a form of injustice to envelope 75 top government officials in a black parcel branded “Please, Refund the Nation!”. Some members in this ‘Club 75’ are as innocent as my mother in the village. Good news is that it is no longer the secret 75. Hon. Awut Deng Achuil, former Minister for Labour and Public Service, Government of Southern Sudan (Juba), and Hon. Lual Achuek Deng, former Minister for Petroleum in the Government of National Unity (Khartoum), have reduced the secrecy of the content of the envelope from 75 to 73. But the pendulous question is “have they reduced the secrecy of its context?” Another pending question is will others in the similar suits follow suit? In other words, will the axing Presidential Decrees continue to flow…?
My concern is whether Comrade Salva Kiir is going to sieve the list, and fire the guilty and hire the fresh ones. Of course, out of the 75, according to many opinions, there will be good and bad onions. The method is simple, a general reshuffle can do. But the dilemma! Should it be done now or later? There is wisdom almost telling me ‘not later’ though we do not know what Bashir’s austerity measure means by leaving the defence budget intact and cutting to hell the rest of the government budgets. That is why I am in dilemma of what to recommend to my Boss now. Well, let me withdraw my call for a reshuffle (read ‘sacking’) right now (that was then in 2012). To make use of our Dinka salvaging wisdom of ‘Beny, Konkoc’: Sir or Boss hold your horse. However, let there be investigation. And the dilemma continues. Investigations are operations not executed on somebody sitting in his ministerial chair, sipping his official ‘chai’. That is why it is difficult to drag Omar al Bashir to the The Hague. So what should be done to those who are still our ministerial materials?
This should be done, and be done immediately before implementing the Austerity Budget. Replace that everlasting hiring squad with a blasting firing squad. I mean, there should be a committee other than that ‘community’ sitting in the Ministry of Public Service or Human Resource Development. The Public Service Committee has been doing a great job in hiring the whole country into working for the government, I mean psychologically. Well, that is positive nation building, but now at the face of austerity, no more ‘Peace Funds’, no more ‘Appeasement Emoluments’, no more ‘Political Accommodation’. All these terms refer to ‘salaries’ paid to non-competent, non-committed and non-delivering public servants, just to tether them down like cultivation season goats on zero grazing lest they disturb our nation building processes. Now that we are a brand new nation, please, please, replace the current ‘Hiring Squad’ (if many) with a ‘Firing Squad’, if any. If so done, well, I argue, the austerity will augur well for our posterity of the Re/public of South Sudan.
What is – and why – a ‘firing squad’? A committee to study and downsize the government to manageable level, so that the money and the towns do not necessarily go but accessibly arrive at the people. A recent study by Kush Institute indicates that only 16% of the national income goes to the 10 states of South Sudan. I would rather say nine states because the 11th State called ‘Juba’ lies in the 10th state called Central Equatoria. To solve this dilemma, the president should leave the whole system alone but appoint an independent committee to research and recommend, and even implement the resolutions to save the neck of the president and serve him with some dozes of Community Immunity towards 2015. When I say independent committee, I simply imply not the recycled ones, knowing that our national and developmental committees have been dominated and manipulated by the same ‘Their Excellencies’ that are supposed to work in their respective offices daily. The committee must, of course, be ruthless in order not to be toothless like the Anti-Corruption Commission, hence the unpopular name given by cynics and its victims later as ‘Firing Squad’. So I want them parallel: hiring squad versus firing squad in the government, a perfect balance, an ideal deal of a political duel.
In conclusion, which will be a continuation hereafter; it is sheer foolery for a people to venture into nation building without first making themselves the architects of such a huge building undertaking in the 21st Century. Regretfully, but not regrettably, our leaders and we, their followers, must calm down to understand this thing called ‘The Republic’ (of South Sudan) so that its current chair-holders do not turn themselves into its recurrent Share Holders and register it in the name of South Sudan Ltd. Therefore, my last recommendation for further debate in this essay is a question, which is also being answered in another writing of my fighting for the secondary freedom of the people of South Sudan. The grand puzzle is: Are we, as a nascent nation of South Sudan, a republic of the public or a public of the republic?
John Penn de Ngong is a South Sudanese journalist, poet and civil society activist recently forced to exile. He runs a personal blog at http://www.weakleak.wordpress.com.
THE RELEVANCE: In 2007, my ‘Aluetluet Editor’ wanted Chapter 9 (The Eruption, Irruption, Interruption and Disruption of Corruption) struck out of ‘The Black Christs of Africa’ because it was not reflected on either sides of the book cover, especially the back, which tunes all the arsenals to Khartoum. I told him, let’s keep it, you never know the christs who are black by skin and white in action today may turn out to be white by skin and black in action tomorrow. Now, with the events around J1 (OOP’S), can’t we sense some RELEVANCE? Samples attached here:
You’re put in charge of our funds,
You put them aside for your fun’s.
You organize for your fans fanfare,
You use our funds for your fun-fare.
You call yourself a chief,
We regard you as a thief.
Lo, you continue to steal,
Your licence shan’t be still.
For you are depriving the public
Of the development of their republic.
Pests of our peace, may you rest apiece
In the Land you suck, milk, fail to appease.
Heed to this alarm bell to wake up the nation,
To condemn them who feed us with the ration.
Damn the official thieves of, for and by the people,
And them that issue them the licences of the people.
The jingle jangle.
VIOLATED QUOTE (to those who failed Salva Kiir after even giving them…)
“If you give to a thief he cannot steal from you, and he is then no longer a thief.”
THE KINSHIP WITH A KINGSHIP
Even the monarch’s co-cousins
Dip their hands deep into our coffers,
And fool us, and pull for themselves dozens;
Of course none of all gives them the state’s offers.
All those self-made Royalties
Do claim from our toils’ royalties.
They assume and consume of powers real regal,
Yet, their assumption for consumption is never legal.
By hierarchy, we’re their loyalists,
And by oligarchy, they’re our royalists.
We know to the monarchy they’re a far kinship;
It is they by remote anarchy who fake on us kingship.
THEY DO NOT COMPORT WITH COMFORT
They know it’s wrong,
But say, “for how long
Won’t our golden goal
Hit the dead end of the olden gaol?”
It is a fact well known that a crime
Carried as a career since the prime
Will end up in discomfort.
Since they do not comport
Themselves as with their own in-laws,
They comfort themselves with outlaws.
Thence, they inherit a family curse,
Hence, empties forever their purse.
Since they know the norms they’re breaking with their effort,
For they do not comport themselves, hence lose the comfort.
1- Comport: a)-To behave in a particular way, and
b)- To be consistent with something.
2- Comfort: a)- To cheer somebody or bring them relief from distress and anxiety, and b)- To make somebody comfortable or feel pleasantly relaxed.