A foot for thought

Corruption in South Sudan

Anna Nimiriano Editor in Chief Juba Monitor

Yesterday it was published in the newspapers that South Sudan is the most corrupt country in the world. For me, it was bad news to have a country described with bad character. It means the government is corrupt and it fails to control resources in the country. When you hear the issue of corruption, what comes to your mind is money because many people believe the term corruption means mismanagement of government money. But corruption could be the mismanagement of other resources that do not belong to individuals.

Anything belonging to the public and used by individuals in the wrong way is corruption. Based on other information published in the newspapers sometimes back, it has become true with the report released on Monday. Several times money disappeared in the offices of the government officials, but no accountability.

Last year when the new Minister of Finance was sworn in, President SalvaKiirMayardit pointed out the issue of corruption and said, let the new Minister of finance not be corrupt like the other former Ministers in the Ministry. That indicates President Kiir was aware of the issue of corruption in the country.  Maybe the weakness was that those who had taken government funds were not accounted for.

Yesterday, the World Bank office in South Sudan conducted roundtable discussions on the support they are going to render to the government of South Sudan.  One of the questions asked by the journalists was the issue of corruption on the funds the bank is going to release. How are they going to account government institutions with the money of the projects? It has created a lack of confidence in government officials.  The Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan Mr. Ousmane Dione was able to explain the mechanism the World Bank should use in order to avoid corruption in those projects.

Any donor who wants to support South Sudan would take extraordinary care for releasing money to avoid problems in the banks and Organizations. Others would withdraw their support fearing the matter of accountability. Government should change their policy of using public funds or dismissing the corrupt staff. Any person using government funds in the wrong way must be accounted for to avoid what would happen in the near future.

May God bless us all.

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