By: Awan Awan
Juba, November 21, 2013 (SSNA) -- As a way to fight corruption, the President in 2006 formed the anti-corruption commission to prosecute those found to be involved in the embezzlement of public funds and equally advocated for a “zero-tolerance” policy to bolster his plea.
In line with this policy, he recently, suspended two powerful ministers and subsequently referred them for investigations to the toothless anti-corruption. Furthermore, in order to gain trust from the incredulous citizens as well as the international community, he also, suspend two senior officials in his office—namely Mayen Wol his Chief Administrator and a certain Yel Luol, his Executive Secretary—who were also referred to the very same redundant Anti-Corruption for stolen funds in the highest office in the new republic.
While the dismissal of the two ministers has caused some fiasco in the SPLM political fiber, and the suspension of the two corrupt officials in his office was lauded, their secret reinstatement, though mysterious, still needs to be challenged. The institution of the presidency, the beacon of state sovereignty, by law, remains unaudited, neither by the auditor general nor the parliament. It is this institutional shield from accountability that the two “syndicated corruptees” –Mayen and Yel-are extremely exploiting in order to shamelessly and unflinchingly enrich themselves
In perfecting their looting skills, the dynamic duo of Mayan Wool and Yelp Lou, has by design, instituted a flawed labyrinth bureaucracy and a very sophisticated scheme of siphoning money out of the country.
Firstly, about a year ago the country irresponsibly set up itself by shutting down its oil production and in the process depriving itself 90 percent of its income. As reality hit and times became though, in order for the government to sustain its activities, it had no choice other than borrowing. In this, Mayen Wol—the scavenger—saw an opportunity to make money, so he first convinced the President, that, his contact, he needed to be included in the loan negotiation team, and then fought much harder to head the economic team, though a lawyer himself. Being from Warrap—the president’s hometown—his wish was of course granted.
The first stop over for borrowing loans was Dubai, UAE, where the team meet some reputable creditors who willingly offered to loan the Government of the Republic of South Sudan eight hundred million dollars—yes!—U$D 800, 000, 000 at an interest rate of 4.5% per annum. That interest alone is high, but since Mayen needed to get his cut, he violated the negotiation tactic, by having a one on one side meeting with the head of the prospective creditor. Since their was no way to accommodate his interest, it had to be included in the general interest rate. After his discussion the interest rate hiked to 8.5% per annum, when confronted by the rest of the team, he blatantly lied and intimidated them by saying he had to accommodate the president’s cut—by working in the office of the president, and his proximity to the Chief Executive of the nation, this is a perfect ruse—which he and Yel Luol has used time and again. In South Sudan, the institution of the Presidency is sacrosanct, and therefore anybody could concoct any lie, corrupt the system and even pervert justice and get away with it as long as they can somehow convince his audience that he is acting in the name of the president. So as we speak, the some of 36 million U$D which accounts for the extra 4% added to the original 4.5% was wired to Mayen’s offshore account set up in Malaysia.
As if he had not learnt from his suspension, immediately after being re-instated, Mayen has again been involved in fraudulent activities. Just a month ago, he invited one of his in-laws, a gold digger by the name of Manon Dut Anyakdit—the first ever Dinka man to be married by a woman—to set up a company and, without following procurement laws, offered him the contract to purchase a fleet of 70 vehicles, consisting only of Toyota land cruisers and 60th edition of Nissan, each vehicle invoiced at the cost of 180, 000 U$D. This amount is double the actual market price; but, that is even beside the point, what is more depressing is the fact with a little over three months after resumption of oil sales and a few months to get out of the austerity measures—assuming things remain constant both economically and politically with the north—it would not be difficult to know that the president’s protocol vehicle are not the priority. Without notifying the President, both Mayen and Yel have insisted the the vehicles have to be procured at all cost. The math indicates that the actual amount of the vehicles is six million and three hundred thousand, but instead they are billing the government twice that amount which is twelve million and six hundred thousand. This, according to both Mayen Wol and Yel Luol, is a good way of making quick money before the president fills in the vacant post of the Minister in the Office of the President. Poor Manon Dut Anyakdit, the scam who was paid by his father in law to marry his daughter, is only a facilitator who is taking the brunt of the complication only to be paid a commission.
Well, the question that must be asked is if Mayen and Yel are so corrupt why are they still serving the president? Well, the reason the escaped unscathed by the recently concluded investigation and charges brought against them is because according to the terms of reference set out to the Anti- Corruption investigators was a one month timeline which actually falls outside the days in which this major crimes did take place. And that explains why the reason their suspension was a public announcement via presidential decree and their re-instatement was so secretive.
If the President is serious and genuine about fighting corruption, then he must start with his office. But if he abstains from the applying the rules when those implicated happened to be from his own home town of Warrap—like Mayen Wol and Yel Luol—then he must be sending the wrong signal to this very diverse nation of ours.
The two criminals—Mayen Wol and Yel Luol—must be reprimanded for their scandalous acts if the president’s war on corruption is to be regarded authentic and original. Application and referrals of corrupts elements to Anti-Corruption cannot be selective, it should be comprehensive, failure to observe that means the president’s war on corruption could merely be political posturing.
South Sudan cannot bankroll Mayen and Yel.