Find out the New Deputy Mayor’s policy for Juba City Council
Find out the New Deputy Mayor’s policy for Juba City Council
Thiik Thiik Mayardit, Deputy Mayor Juba City Council (Photo: David Mono Danga)
Juba Monitor (JM): can you tell us briefly about yourself?
Deputy Mayor (DM):YES! My name is Thiik Thiik Mayardit, I am the Deputy Mayor for Physical Infrastructure and Development at Juba City Council. Today I am glad to receive Juba Monitor crew to interview me about my work as the deputy mayor.
First and foremost, I would like to thank President Salva Kiir Mayardit and all the parties that signed the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in September last year.
Secondly, I also thank the Governor of Jubek State Lt. Gen. Augustino Jadallah Kamilo Wani for appointing me and my colleague His Worship Lt.Gen. Samir Khamis to serve in his government and we promise to serve him to the best of our ability. He advised us to reconcile the communities leaving in Juba to leave peacefully and enjoy the peace and tranquility.
Juba City serves as the National City of South Sudan and also as the Capital of Jubek state. So all the 62 tribes of South Sudan are leaving in Juba.It is our duty to make sure that Juba belongs to all of us but not to any tribe. So the Governor of JubekState has instructed us that there is no any tribe in Juba. He said people should leave peacefully without tribalism. This is why he urged us to reconcile our people and make them feel that Juba is the capital city for all South Sudanese. Some people used to say that Juba is only for the Bari but the governor says Juba is for all the South Sudanese leaving here. He is a man who does not know any tribe. He has been fighting for this country andliberated his people because he is not a tribal leader. He has given us a full pledge to serve without any fear of interference.
JM: So you were appointed to replace Eng. NhialMajakNhial,what are you planning to do as the new deputy mayor?
DM:I am glad to inform our people that we (the Juba City Council) are going to deal with the problem of garbage. I have informed all the quarter councils to be responsible for the residential areas. They will tell residents to pack their garbage ready for the Council to collect the trash and dump at the right dumping sites.
When residents hear city council vehicles approach they should bring out their trash to be loaded into the trucks. We will give people paper bags. It will be distributed in all households around Juba City such that when we collect the paper bags with garbage we give them new ones to pack their trash.
If we find anyone putting garbageby the roadsides or in their compounds without packing in the bags, they will be fined heavily. Having garbage around the city streets and in residential areas is prohibited now.
A woman pass via a heap of garbage at Custom (Photo: David Mono Danga)
JM: How many paper bags have you brought for all the residents of Juba?
DM: Because Juba City is very big, we are talking of millions of paper bags. When we distribute it, it will not just be a day’s work. It will be a daily work.
JM: Let me get everything right. Are these millions of paper bags already there or not?
DM: some are there but we are planning to bring more. What we have is in the thousands and are not enough.
JM: What is going to happen to the garbage dumped along the streets?
DM: we are going to get strict to control littering of our streets. We have always emphasized that we don’t want garbage in the streets. We are going to employ people to monitor people who dump garbage in the streets and if caught we shall fine them and imprisoned them for three months.
JM: Is the city council going to help thecitizens keep the city clean? If yes how?
DM: our mobile network operator MTN is helping us install metallic dustbins along the busy streets to enable people dump their trash into the dustbins directly. But they are not enough therefore, we areworking hard to make more for the whole of Juba City. We want our city to be clean.
And also there are these foreign companies and hotels that have their own trucks. They go and dump along the roads without reaching the original dumping sites. They are responsible for garbage dumping into the Nile and in locations not stipulated for dumping.
If we get you and you are a foreigner, we are going to fine you 10,000 US Dollars and you will be imprisoned for 10 months. We are going to be serious about that. There is a dumping site where all garbage are to be dumped and if anyone has collected garbage and wish to dump it at the stipulated site, the city council will provide the necessary security to ensure the trash is dumped at the dumping right sites.
We also know that some of the hotels in Juba release sewage into the river instead of keeping it in safety tanks for the city council to empty it when it gets full. They empty the sewage directly into the river. We are warning them that they will also face the same consequences.
The next thing I will do is to call all the hotel managers for a meeting this week. It is very important to note that most of the hotels in Juba are employing mostly foreign workers. They don’t employ our people. The law (the Labour Act 2017 Chapter V/45/1), says any foreign employer shall give priority of 80% to nationals, especially where necessary skills are available. The 20% should be for foreigners.
But now hotels and companies are not doing that. So we are warning them seriously. I will call them and tell them to employ nationals in positions like Managers, Cashiers, Accountants, Waiters and waitresses. These positions should be reserved for South Sudanese nationals only.If they don’t have the necessary skills, the hotels should train the citizens and equip them with managerial skills.
JM: What if they don’t comply with your orders, what next?
DM: if they don’t comply we will throw them out. We are going to deal with them and they will understand that South Sudan has laws.
We also noted that foreigners are being paid higher than the South Sudanese. I have gathered reports that hotels are paying foreigners 800 (US Dollars) while the South Sudanese are paid 20,000 pounds that is not going to be tolerated. I am going to deal with them and they should understand that this South Sudan is having laws. If you come here and you don’t comply with our laws you go.
JM: What will be the impact of this action?
DM: Since they have already built the hotels it will remain as South Sudanese benefits and we will get another person to manage it. There are also some foreigners who were given land on lease by the previous governments (of the state) for 99 years. We are going to revoke it. For example the land of the University of Juba was leased to an Ethiopian investor for 99 years. We are going to revoke it as city council and give it back to the government.
JM: Juba Money has received and reported many stories about issues of job and salary discrimination among foreign companies in the country. It would be a success to your office if you push for equal pay and employment of citizens in some of these organizations. But how did you come to know of these issues?
DM: before I was appointed to this office I have been monitoring the hotels. So I know all those hotels mistreating workers and those not employing nationals. It will end. The children of South Sudan will not be mistreated again. We will liberate them to enjoy the fruits of the country.
I got information that when a hotel owner is caught doing something wrong and is taken to face the law, somesenior government officials and some generalsdefend them.That is not going to be the way we will work. If we are generals we have been fighting for our people but if they (Generals) want to mistreat our people I will deal with them one by one because I know them. It is not going to be an issue with me.
Our people have been suffering a lot, especially in terms of access to clean water. Now the water tanks are getting a lot of money. They feel 30 drums at only 1,000SSP and when they leave the Nile the price of a drum increases depending on how far the residential area is from the Nile.
In Malakia they sell a drum at 250SSP, in Amarat 300SSP, Munuki 450SSP and when they go further to Gudele and beyond they charge 500SSP per a drum. So you find they are making a lot of profit.
I heard that when the former Mayor Stephen Wani called the Chairperson of the Water Tank rivers union to ask why they were over charging residents, he asked that “Do the South Sudanese business people have the tanks to serve the people with water?” this Ethiopian told Stephen to ask the business community to compete with them. In the coming week we are going to call them and dialogue.
JM: do you have anything to add that I did not ask?
DM: YES! I would like to tell our people that they should give us time to solve these problems. Let us forgive each other. Forget what has happened to us and let’s leave as One People One Nation. We should not think in tribal lines. No Dinka, no Bari, no Nuer, no Anyuak, no Shilluk and no Zande. If I was a lawmaker we would pass a law calling us as South Sudanese and anyone referring to tribe would be arrested.
I would like to also thank the Somali Business Community in South Sudan for serving the country fairly. They charge the same prices from one area or market to another all over Juba. They go with the dollar rate. Our business communities should also do the same. There are people who collect money illegally after 5 o’clock in the name of the city council.
Business people should not give them money if they don’t have council guards and police in uniforms. Itis only the tax collectors who are authorized to collect money from the businessmen and women but not the police or the council guards.