Health Minister lifts suspension on Undersecretary
By Ayuel Chan
The National Minister of Health Elizabeth Achuei Yol has finally restored Dr Victoria Anib Majur as the ministry’s undersecretary 90 days after removing her from office for commissioning administrative changes without seeking consultation in October last year.
Ms Majur was suspended and temporarily replaced with Dr Samson Paul Baba, an Advisor on Community Health and Special Programs as acting undersecretary on 20th October 2021, but was seen working in defiance of the order as seen in the images shared on November 9, 2021 where she appeared to be meeting guests in her suspended office.
In her order seen dating January 13, 2022, Minister Achuei lifted the three-month-long suspension of the undersecretary and directed her to resume work immediately.
Dr Anib was handed the suspension for reshuffling the ministry’s directors and administrators of Juba Teaching Hospital (JTH) which had been crippled by a series of strikes by workers demanding arrears.
Following her suspension from duties, friction emerged between Minister Achuei and Vice President for Service Delivery Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol after later reinstalling the embattled undersecretary.
VP Abdelbagi had Minister Achuei accused of having left the country for the UN General Assembly “without delegating anyone in the Cluster to manage the affairs of the Ministry” and warned her not to “obstruct reforms.”
Following the impasse South Sudan Doctors Union who feared the collapse of the key ministry due to the administrative crisis urged President Salva Kiir Mayardit to intervene and rescue the deepening power wrangle.
“The South Sudan Doctors Union further calls on President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the entire Presidency to quickly intervene, find a lasting solution to the differences, and put the Ministry of Health back on the right path,” partly read a statement.
On 29th October President Kiir convened a meeting to find amicable solutions to the dispute.
“His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit convened a consultative meeting with the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny and the Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi Akol to discuss wide range of issues facing the Ministry of Health, insecurity in Tambura County of Western Equatoria State as well as the political issues in Western Bahr el Ghazal State,” the presidency said in a statement later that day
The meeting which was attended by Kiir’s security advisor Tut Gatluak Manime, Presidential Affairs Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, and Cabinet Affairs Minister Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro “agreed to find mechanisms to solve these problems amicably.”
The statement added The Ministerial order 003/2022 dated 13th January 2022 seen by Juba Monitor directs the Undersecretary “to resume her duty immediately” and “effective from the date of its signature by the Minister”.