Former contractor threatens to sue Dr. John Garang University over accumulated arrears
By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon
A food supply company to Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology in Jonglei has threatened to sue the University and two other institutions over three year’s unpaid arrears.
Wek Majok Wek, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Lil Transport Company Limited and a former contractor to Dr. John Garang University, revealed that his company demanded over 4 million US dollars from the University which had accumulated for the last three years.
“The University owes me something like 4 million dollars. It is now unpaid arrears for 3 years, 2016, 2017 and 2018. I have been taking goods on credit with my interests,” he said.
Juba Monitor learned that Mr. Wek had been providing food for the institution until his contract was terminated last week over his request to get 30 percent payment of his arrears.
According to Wek, his suppliers were unhappy since he could not clear the accumulated debts.
“Even my clients cannot give me any goods again,” he said. “I claimed for 30 percent from my unpaid arrears so that we resume and achieve stability for University for all the years but the new Vice Chancellor has his own interest and company that he want to bring into the work,” Mr. Majok claimed.
He stated that when he recently contacted the new Vice Chancellor to ensure he got paid 30 percent of his money, the Vice Chancellor instead ordered for termination of his contract rather than paying him.
“According to the law, I have to sue the ministries of Education and Finance because I signed the agreement with them. The University nominated the company. But there is a letter of objection that came from the Ministry of Finance, so I have to sue them,” Mr. Majok said.
Mr. Wek wanted the Ministry of Higher Education to summon Dr. John Garang University over termination of his contract, citing that the contract was supposed to be terminated until all accumulated arrears were cleared.
“Termination of the contract is when you have been paid all the arrears. You cannot terminate the contract when the company still owes you money,” he said
Prof. Abraham Matoch, the Vice Chancellor of the University admitted that he ordered the termination for Wek’s contract since he failed to offer food to the University after promising to do.
Prof. Matoch stated that the company can not sue the university nor the whole government rather than specific Ministry since the University was not a signatory to his contract.
“He cannot sue the University, if he wanted to sue somebody then that might be the Ministry of Higher Education. This is because the University did not sign any contract with him. Contracts are signed by the Ministry,” he said
“His arrears have not connection with the contract; he will continue to claim his arrears with the Ministry since he will be paid as we know. It is not link to the University,” he added.
He added that once, the University gets a new contractor today then the University will be opened immediately.
This academic year semester was expected to commence earlier this month but couldn’t since the University’s opening was suspended over shortage of food at the university.
Minister of Higher Education Justice Yien Oral Lam recently said that the Finance Ministry had paid public universities two months operational expenses and 10 percent payment for companies supplying food.