By Holy Crook
Juba, January 7, 2013 (SSNA) -- This is not a report. It is not an opinion article either. Nor is it a news story. It is what it is. So, please, read it carefully. Strive to understand every single letter, every single word, every single sentence, every single paragraph. The photos too (check images by clicking next on top-right corner of this document).
In this piece, I’ve refused to self-censor myself. I have refused to be muzzled by journalism ethics. I’ve rejected professional code of conduct. To hell with decency. My love for my country reigns over everything else. It has overcome the fear of being gunned down in a broad daylight by political goons. I’m decided and nothing is going to stop me. This is war; the second liberation of South Sudanese. In this exposé, I am going to call a spade a spade, not a big spoon. I am going to name names, big names.
In this essay, I will make sure none of these individuals escapes the wrath of truth. This is the wrath of a pen. Since some of the individuals involved are too powerful to be made to face the law right now and even in the future, I will send them to my own jail. Call it mental Guantanamo Bay.
What is taking the government so long to end the Dura saga? Why is it so secretive about the issue? Do we know the names of the companies involved in the scandal? Who are the shareholders of the companies? Why does the Council of Ministers seem so reluctant to investigate and prosecute these individuals? Who is willing to tell the truth about the issue? Do you think the government has the will to tackle it?
Well, as a citizen who would wish to live in a better South Sudan, a country whose independence was gained through blood, flesh and tears - I’m going to contribute somehow to the possible solutions to this rampant and shameful precedent our leaders are setting. Do yourself a favor: Keep reading….
Dear South Sudanese, as per the proof I have, the whole issue is very complicated. The judiciary cannot do anything about it. Don’t even think about the President. It’s a total deadlock. Considering the individuals involved in this scandal, I don’t see the citizens will get justice. Do you remember the crane-frog pictorial message? The one in which the crane struggles to swallow a frog but it can’t because the frog has grabbed it by the thin neck, making swallowing impossible.
See (click next) photo number two on top-right
The Frog represents the Dura saga companies; while the crane represents President Kiir
Yes. The above message may not bear the exactitude of what is going on but it at least gives you a clue about the impossibilities, complications and complexities surrounding the issue. It is just impossible for the current government of South Sudan to bring to book those who pocketed millions of dollars.
In 2008, billions of US dollars worth of contracts were signed by the ministry of finance with some fake companies to deliver the grain to the ten states as a government’s response to the hunger in the then self-autonomous region.
The grain, locally known as Dura, was meant to be sold to the hunger-stricken millions at cheaper prices and the money remitted to the ministry of finance. However, many individuals secured the contracts with fake documents, claiming to be companies and ended up getting away with hundreds of millions of dollars without any grain delivered to the states.
Last year, the parliament summoned the former ministers, Michael Makuei Lueth, Kuol Athian and David Deng Athorbei over the issue.
Kuol Athian defended himself, saying the companies he contracted were legally registered by the former ministry of legal affairs and constitutional development under Michael Makuei Lueth. Also, he said he paid the companies who brought with them certificates of acknowledgement from the states that they had actually delivered the Dura to the states in accordance with the contracts signed, a revelation contrary to what the people on the ground said. Officials in the states said the Dura never reached the states or the intended destinations. Well, everything is clear here. Let’s leave Kuol Athian out of this.
Honorable Michael Makuei Lueth
Michael Makuei Lueth, the incumbent Parliamentary Affairs minister has some accountability work to do. His former ministry registered the companies listed below. These are some of the companies which robbed the people of the monies from the American people.
See (click next) photo number three on top-right
Names of the companies involved:
Me & My Kids? Five Men for Development? HAAH? Just by looking at the names of these companies, one is left with an impression that indeed the grants were divided amongst individuals.
Honorable Makuei owes South Sudanese an explanation. He must be made to reveal the faces behind these companies. Legally, there are procedures one must follow through in order to have a company registered. What criteria did his ministry use to register the companies? Generally, the application is made in person at the Registrar General's office. Did honorable Makuei ensure that these legal processes were applied? That means the owners of these companies did show up at the registrar’s and they are known. If not, then the companies were registered via remote control. The registrar must have been instructed by senior people to do the registration, and signing done in bedrooms. This handcuffs Makuei and his juniors. They’re accomplices. Period.
Benjamin Bol Mel
See (click next) photo number four on top-right
Bol is the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce. He is the owner of the national multi-billion dollar construction company, ABMC. He is also the manager of Home & Away and Alok Company. Why was he writing to President Kiir to pay off contracts, majority of which were bogus? What is the relationship between Bol Mel and President Salva Kiir anyway?
See (click next) photo number five on top-right
David Deng Athorbei
In the letter, Benjamin Bol Mel reveals that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, under Deng Athorbei, was deflating the original figures.
“The effort from the ministry for finance and Economic Planning making in reducing the outstanding balances from their original levels is appreciated, but further reduction, along the lines we have suggested, should be a practical step towards empowering our members to be part of the referendum process and for some to get freedom from jails. The Referendum is a make or break affair for us all.”
See (click next) photo number six on top-right
This indicates that Deng Athorbei had actually reduced the amounts the ghost companies owed the Finance Ministry and Bol insisted on additional cut down. Here Honorable Deng handcuffs himself. He is an accomplice. Period.
President Salva Kiir
So, the President actually ordered Deng Athorbei to manipulate the figures? So, Mister President can stoop this low? Since Kiir, the President, the very person who should spearhead zero-tolerance to mal-practices is the problem here, do you still have hope in the government. Now that the President has proven himself crooked, how about his juniors?