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CHEQUE-The 1.5 M USD fees to EAC bounced

By James Atem Kuir

A bank cheque of 1.5 million dollars, part of subscription fees to the East African Community (EAC)bounced after ‘some technical problem’ noted by the regional bank in Arusha, Tanzania.

The cheque was reportedly written by the Central Bank of South Sudan (BOSS) with directives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to the African Export and Import Bank also known as Afri-Exim bank, the bloc’s bank where the bloc’s account is operated.

A highly placed official of the Central Bank confirmed to Juba Monitor that there were some technical hitches in the transactions which had already been cleared by Juba and the cheque re-sent back to Arusha for clearance.

But the payment bill bounced back due to inadequacy of funds on the BOSS account according to Kim Gai- a South Sudanese law maker in the East African Community Legislative Assembly based In Arusha, Tanzania.

MP Gai described the bouncing cheque of the Central Bank as “embarrassment to the President and the country before sisterly countries of the EAC” and called for immediate sacking of the Minster of Finance and Governor of the Central Bank.

“However, the cheque issued by the bank has so far bounced due to insufficient funds causing undue embarrassment to the President and the country before sisterly countries of the EAC,”

“However much as I agree that the country is undergoing an economic recession, it is important that the person of the president is protected from such magnitude of international embarrassment before fellow heads of states and governments,” MP Kim Gai said in a statement obtained by Juba Monitor yesterday.

“This is one of the many shames that our President is internationally ashamed by his officials as such he should immediately do the needy and fire the Minister of Finance including the Central Bank Governor as soon as possible just to save the image and protection of our nation in the region because we cannot continue to rule this country in a kangaroo way,” he asserted.

The MP was reportedly in Juba this week to help with necessary steps to formulize transactions.

In a statement to Juba MonitorNewspaper yesterday, a well-placed source within Central Bank, further confirmed that Afri-Exim bank did not cash in the cheque due to some technical problems experienced by the bank.

The source who preferred anonymity however stressed that the problem had been rectified and the payment had been made on Tuesday March 30.

“It is like when the cheque was deposited, the bank seemed to have not understood why such huge amount of money was sent to them. They did not understand and had to reboundback to the Central Bank for clarification.

“The matter was sorted out and the cheque was deposited on Tuesday,” he said.

A letterby the first Undersecretary in the Ministry of Finance directed the Governor of Central Bankto transfer 1,500,000 million dollars to the East African CommunitySecretariat through the KCB branch in Arusha, Tanzania.

The document obtained by Juba Monitor was written on February 24 and signed by GarangMajakBol, the first undersecretary in the ministry.

Several attempts to get comments from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning over the matter proved futile as the known available contacts of Minster Athian Diing Athian were unreachable.

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