Opinion

Who says there is no fuel in Juba?

By John Akech Agau

A fuel seller by the road side in one of the Juba suburbs(File Photo from Google)

Had it not been the heartlessness from some South Sudanese people that has caught up the nation, then this nation would have not reached where it is now. Two weeks ago, I managed to meet one of the people who sell petrol by the roadside. I asked him, why there is a large quantity of fuel being sold bythe roadside and in people’s houses than in the petrol stations?

He told me that the issue of fuel shortage is not only with us, the fuel dealers who sell it by the roadside, but also the government. He said this fuel shortage is being used as the business by the government officials who come with tankers and drums to the filling stations and siphon off (draw-off) all the stations before the fuel is sold to the public at the fixed price set by the government.

As you walk around, you can see that fuel is being sold on the road and the rest of it being banked at home without knowing how dangerous it is to keep a flammable product at home, which do not only have children, but also other ignorant people who might be vulnerable. so it matters a lot to be cautious. Fuel is flammable and can catch fire instantly.

The information he gave me was hundred percent correct, because this  was what I saw and is still sees happening in the city of Juba. But I did it as a matter of widening my research on the black market behaviour.

In my point of view, you can see how difficult it is to deny a Minister, a Memember of Parliament (MP) and the Generals in the army, access to what they want to get, and later  what they  deserve is sold to the public at an exorbitant amount.

To me, the country has gone to the level of no recovery when the people who are tasked with the responsibility of reforming the country are the ones spoiling the country. One is tempted to say dissident groups could in a way be counted better than those who pretend to be nationalists when in fact they are not.

His Excellency General Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of the Republic of South Sudan, issued an order two months ago, banning the sale of fuel in the streets. But still there is a huge inflow of fuel containers seen by the roadsides and not in the filling or petrol stations.

People who are close to the President and the advisors to the President or those in the decision making circle should not always persuade the President to issue orders or presidential decrees, which remain ineffective once they are issued.

Many presidential orders issued by the President have been ineffective  because their implementation is not being followed up by the leadership of the day.If an eye is not kept open, this would continue to be the story of the day.

There is a need for the office of the President to be fed with the right information by the those surrounding him before he (the President) can issue any order. If he issues the order, it must get implemented by the security organs and law enforcement agencies.

For us to stop fuel crisis in Juba and in other towns, before we talk about economic crisis, which seems to have enervated the people, in my opinion, there is a need to stop those ministers, MPs and generals in the army who from time to time go and buyfuel in large quantities contained in tankers and drums, which they bank in their houses and use their relativbes to sell it to the public at the prices of their own making when filling stations are empty.

The only people who could be allowed by the government to buy fuel from filling stations are the state governors to enable them take fuel to their states, such that they can run their government activities without hindrances.

When those people who encourage the so-called “black market” and sell fuel in balck market are stopped from buying fuel in large quantities,  the orders issued by the President can now work effectively.

I often hear people say, “there is no fuel in Juba,” who says there is no fuel in Juba? In fact, it does not need much reasoning to dispute this expression, because if there is no fuel in Juba, what do you think these cars that are running on the streets of Juba are using? They are not using water, but fuel!

In fact, there is a lot of fuel in Juba than in Nairobi, Kenya. It is only kept in houses by people who want this country to remain in a mess. And in fact, there are people in Juba (South Sudanese and foringers) who want to benefit so much from  the current economic crisis and the conflict in South Sudan. They can best be called “freebooters or opportunists.”

His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of the Republic of South Sudan, is our leader, but it seems his efforts to help build the nation are being routed by people who don’t want this country to develop further.

The Writer is a South Sudanese and he can be reached on the following phone numbers: 0955849807/0928192193.

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