Opinion: The ongoing corruption at the ministry of finance
The National Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning under the leadership of Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, is no longer serving the objectives for which it was established. Hon. Salvatore Garang Mabiordit has turned the public ministry into family financial transaction center for his relatives, friends, business associates and allies.
This means he has shifted the ministry from its path of serving all the South Sudanese equally to a group serving ministry. As I write this article. Salvatore Garang Mabiordit has issued first serve cards to his special businessmen and relatives for easy prioritization and consideration in all the day to day transactions whenever they step their feet in the stairs of the ministry.
Embezzlement of public money, awarding of illegal contracts with personal interest rates, giving of medical assistance funds to healthy persons who never felt sick are no longer unconstitutional act but the daily legal mandatory duty of Salvatore Garang Mabiordit in the office. He has recently contracted and hired some self-proclaimed writers and his progressive good boys to defend him in the media as a strategy of maintaining himself in the public office.
To prove this right, he has recently given a sum of one million South Sudanese pounds to one of his media defenders by name Mathiang Jalap. The payment of the private's media defenders with public money is a clear indication of Salvatore Garang Mabiordit's corruption scandals at the ministry of finance because there is no formal defined column for recording down such worthy amount of money in the ministry's frame activities. Salvatore Garang Mabior had succeeded in corrupting the public resources through the following ways.
1. Division of ministry's staff on the basis of relationship and friendship: The minister has adopted what is seemed to be predilection system. He has abandoned the legal procedures of financial transaction and resort to his ministry's associates. For example, the offer of contracts is preferred to his office management team and close bodyguards before approval without forwarding them to the concerned officials in the ministry.
2. The repayment of already paid debts: Salvatore Garang Mabiordit has introduced a repayment policy especially to his associates whose debts were already paid by the former minsters. For example, the repayment of Wau airport construction arrears to Adim Adim, the owner of Well-done Company Ltd who was already paid long time ago by the previous minster symbolizes that there was a secret agreement between Salvatore Garang Mabiordit and his blood relative Adim Adim. The repayment of Wau Airport Construction arrears was done on the agreement of "half budget allocation" to the account of Salvation Garang Mabiordit by the company owner Mr. Adim Adim.
3. The culture of bribery policy in the payment transactions. The ministry of finance and economic planning particularly the office of minster has assigned some officials who act as a middleman in payment of credits, the minister associates especially office management team and close protection personnel are the one engaging in this illegal process. Any business creditor who wants check in the ministry must first bribe the middlemen and close bodyguards of Salvatore Garang with an average of 30 % to 40% of the cheque. His private secretary has turned into a millionaire through this illegal deal. The private secretary has recently bought new V8 Prado in a period of less than 1 year. The purchase of a new model V8 by Salvatore's private secretary sends a signal of rampant broad daylight corruption in the ministry of finance and economic planning.
4. The use of a covering letter in financial transaction. Hon Salvatore Garang Mabiordit has illegally abandoned legal administrative channels of performing ministry's activities and adapted the use of what we called "covering letter" in financial transactions. This resulted into administrative dispute between him and the senior directors at the ministry.
On 28th November 2018, Hon. Salvatore Garang Mabiordit issued a cheque of 18 million dollars and directed the bank of South Sudan to transfer the said amount of money to the account of Lou Company without the knowledge of director for account in the ministry. After realizing that Hon. Salvatore Garang had directed the central bank to transfer 18 million dollars to the account of Lou Company Ltd, the director for accounts Mt. Aguek Deng who was by then unaware of the details of payment transactions to Lou Company LTD immediately questioned the minister about the legality of transaction. The minster got annoyed and responded to the director’s question by dismissing him from the office on 21st Dec 2018. He further withdrew the powers of the director for accounts as well as the transaction documents and transferred them to the system controller whom he considers as his loyalist at the minster. Many directors at the ministry of finance and economic planning are totally confused and unaware of what is happening after Salvatore Garang has withdrawn their constitutional powers from them. The minster also withdrew the valuable transaction documents from the offices of the concerned directors and transferred them to his office.
5. Hon. Salvatore Garang Mabiordit is favoring certain business persons among the South Sudanese business Community in term of debt payment transactions. This has resulted into public outcry about how he and his office management team are handling the affairs of the business persons at the ministry. He is favoring and cooperating with three businessmen, of which one of them is his close relative, the other one is just longtime friend and the third one is his cousin. The three businessmen whom Salvatore Garang is favoring at the ministry are Adim Adim, Kur Ajing and Paulino Ding Madol. This has created suspicion between good suppliers and the ministry. In addition to that, Salvatore Garang Mabiordit has chosen one businessman Mr. Adim Adim who is his close relative to act as a middleman or dealer between him and business people in regard to clearance of the debts to creditors. Salvatore Garang's policy of favoring three businessmen has tarnished the ministry's image since cooperating with one to three people with an interest of gaining profit is unconstitutional.
6. Salvatore Garang Mabiordit has enriched himself with the public resources. On 4th March 2019, Salvatore Garang Mabiordit approved a sum of 300,000 dollars for his daughter wedding in Kuajok. He recently purchased more six luxurious houses in Juba, apart from the concrete buildings that are under construction. He has also bought several business companies e.g. he owns an aviation company which is currently operating in South Sudan.
He had also bought many hotels in Juba and he is in price negotiation with the owner of James Hotel with an intention of buying it. He is a shareholder in many multi business companies. For example, he is a shareholder in Lou Company Limited. His children are moving with new model V6 and V8 Prado vehicles compared to the period that their father has spent in the office as a minster of finance and economic planning.
The writer is a senior official at the ministry of finance and economic planning. He can be reached via email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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