Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odooyo

When things become elephant (heavy), grass is the only one who understands the weight and suffers silently. It is not possible for the grass to even have space to breath. It is been long and good expectation for some businesses, particularly, hoteliers in Juba and its environs. When the move to have some delegates into their premises came they were all teeth open and shining with hopes of having made a kill and only waiting to walk to the banks to cash on their would be luck. This was not to be and now it is time of grinding teeth instead of opening it white to smile for the cultivated proceeds. Some hotel and restaurants are closed; some cannot afford to meet their daily customers’ obligations because they do not have funds to run the businesses. These institutions hosted a number of guests drawn from almost all political divide. It is not always that such luck comes one’s way. It is also a known fact that when such opportunities are smelled neck-throat games are played by the business magnet to get attention for the award of the services to be rendered.  Some members of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), the National Pre-Transitional Committee and the main parties’ signatories to the peace agreement do understand what l am talking about and the plight of the institutions they have been occupying for some time now. What baffles many is that the government has and continues to play its part by allocating funds needed for the service delivery to these delegates. What the common-man does not understand is what comes after the funds have been allocated. It is painful for the hotel and restaurant owners who have spent their own resources to accommodate the delegates to end up being subjected to all sorts of painful experiences. Civility dictates against these acts. There is a hunch that someone is not doing his/her job properly or has an intention to give out negative picture or image of the whole transactions and processes. This time around is a trying moment for everyone. It cannot and should not be a panacea for easy come easy go. I believe that there is someone out there who can save the situation that some of these institutions have found themselves into. It is not easy to establish such businesses and when one is done it should be supported not otherwise. People being given responsibilities to manage such activities as hosting delegates into these places should be people with clear dignity and proper management skills of public affairs. They should be above reproach within the context of transparency and accountability. Time has come for collective responsibility. No one should do things that are meant to portray negative image and get away with it. It is a sympathizing situation to those who invested expecting to gain but are now walking up and down trying to find a solution not to their own problems but those created by others. 

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