Why accumulate USD 10 million hotels debt?
It is very strange to hear that the government has accumulated hotel debt upto over 10 million USD. What is not clear here are the details of persons who lived in hotels or are still living and for how long are they going to stay, all these weren’t known. What I know is that hotels are made to be used for short period of time, for example an official who come to Juba for meetings on specific programme that is the person who could be accommodated in the hotel. But what South Sudanese are doing is bad, hotels became homes for some people to live in. All the expenses are on the budget of the government. And the payment hasn’t been done on time that is why the money has become too much, and difficult for them to settle at once.
However, the duration given for payment was short, but what will happen to these people if the debt is not clear? Where are they going to live? Whether all these happened during the period of conflict or before. it wasn’t clear in the statement. Last year, several people came for peace talks in South Sudan, including Sudanese government peace talks. Is it also part of the money accumulated or not? Addition to that, there were members of political parties who came last year during peace implementation, they were accommodated in the hotels and still others are living there, for how long are they going to stay in the hotels.
Not only that but many of them are living with families, enjoying the facilities of hotels with friends, no body cares about the money because they know government will pay. All these had happened, because there was no correct system applied right away from the beginning. I am sure among those who are living in hotels, if not all, several of them have houses; they could have lived in their own homes. Unless the houses are occupied by other people or grabbed by individuals, since it had happened to many people in Juba during the war time.
When South Sudan signed peace agreement, government was supposed to clear out hotels money not to reach this situation to be known by public. There was money donated for peace activities last year government supposed to use part of it for paying hotels. Nevertheless, hotels managers who raised concerned have taken long time by allowing money to accumulate to the above mentioned figure was wrong.
May God bless us all.