South Sudan: CORRUPTION IN THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
By Dr Thon Awan,
July 7, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Unabashedly, the office of the president is increasingly becoming synonymous with rampant corruption and egregious incompetence. As the President grapples with restoring peace, order and tranquility to the nation after the aborted coup attempt of the 15 December 2013, his closest aides, are hell bent on the belief that its the endgame for the president and his government: And their focus has shifted to amassing as much wealth as they could, while times last. For the aides, their aim of colossal embezzlement requires two things: a closely knitted network united together in corrupt practices, since corruption ensures loyalty; and secondly, a vertical power structure that are semi-illiterate in order to deprive them of logical reasoning or critical thinking, but most important of all, they have to be tribal to ensure maximum secrecy.
What and who is the racketeering Network?
The ring that is looting massively in the office of the president is limited mainly to four personnel. The Team is headed by Mayen Wol, the Chief Administrator in the office of the President, deputized by Yel Luol and their two prominent subordinates John Agou Wuoi, a national security agent and Kondok John Aguek, the current office manager to the Minister in the office of the President.
By design, the network is strategic and effective. Mayen Wol and Yel Luol are abusing the powers entrusted to them by the president to sign and legitimize the scandalous activities they are perpetrating in the name of the security. As most of the movement of liquid in done in the name of the security, which can then be confirmed and approved by the main security agent John Agou Wuoi, but most important of all, employing Agou provides them the means of bypassing the actual security apparatus and organs that have to be notified. Once that web is tangled the actual office of the president is bypassed by making sure all including the minister are kept out of the dark, since—the minister technically relies on his office manager to scrutinize the documents that make it or shouldn’t make it to his desk—Kondok is part of the racketeering web, he has an interest to just play along while legitimizing the actions in the name of the Minister in the Office of the President. But more importantly, it necessary to understand that Kondok is an in-law of Mayen Wol who previously served as his office manager before moving to the minister, and so it would be wise to involve him in all the dealings not only help him but to also silent him of the previous dealings that had done.
The president in his major speeches has never failed to mention and recite the mantra of “eradication of corruption.” And maybe for the first time he demonstrated he was dead serious on the corruption issue by firing two cabinet ministers before the failed coup attempt, but, while that decision was extolled by many, his continual condoning of the two aides in his office—mainly Mayen and Yel—seriously mired in corrupt practices, sends the message that he is oblivious to his own message.
Recently, the duopoly—while the country is recovering from the losses of the post coup was trying to collect revenue and pay its civil servants, the military, and the police forces that had not been paid in the last three month—conceived of a plan, as the have done in the past, to make some quick buck for themselves. Since it war times, the network knows anything that has to do with war security, especially if its coming from the office of the President becomes inviolable. In pursuit of this plan, Yel Luol Koor on the 5 February 2014(as shown in appendix 1) decided to write to the Ministry of Finance, Commerce, Investment & Economic Planning and requested for the release of Twelve Million One Hundred Twenty One Thousand and Two Hundred and Eighty Dollars (U$D 12, 121, 280) to meet “the cost of security issues,” according to his letter. That amount was debited against the President’s special account.
Ironically, any amount of that magnitude for any security concern, as Yel is well aware, must be approved by the Minister for Security in the Office of the President, or, the Director General for Security; and in all cases, the President’s approval must be sought. In this case however, that procedure was not followed and worst of all, Yel did not even dare copy the letter to either the Minister of Security who sits in the same premises as he does nor the Director General for National Security, but instead copied his partner in crime, Mayen Wol and the Controller of Accounts, who was to release the payments once the money leaves the ministry of finance and goes into their custody.
This document is only part of the story. Because our sources indicate that all this money was sent to a trust fund—currently holding twenty million dollars (U$D 20, 000, 000)—of Luoldit Foundation for Education, whose accounts are operated at CFC Stanbic in Juba. This fund is operated by Yel Luol who is the chairman of the foundation and John Agou Wuoi who is currently the treasurer.
According to our sources, John Agou Wuoi, the security agent who has stopped using his national security badge and cunningly uses the badge of the office of the president to access offices and intimidate people with it, then moved and dispersed the money from the CFC accounts to other various accounts, all the bank transaction documents will be published in the next edition.
From there Kondok John Aguek was paid one million dollars (U$D 1, 000, 000) in Juba as part of the deal, then two million was paid to Lupai Motors, a contractor who bought 15 Landcruiser V8’s to pay off their associates including a white Mercedez Benz for John Agou that is to be registered in South Sudan and shipped to Nairobi, Kenya. Then out of the nine million dollars (U$D 9, 000, 000) left, two were wired to Nairobi into a trust fund in Aguoi’s son and wife’s name and the rest were left in Yel’s custody for himself and his friend.
While it is corruption that hits the headlines, the question of incompetence equally vexes the office of the president. While the constitution states the official language in the new republic is English, the office of the President, which is mostly run by this four elements, who are, with the exception of John Agou, graduates of Arabic Pattern an as a result, its not difficult to see the difficulty in communications and execution of one’s chores. Its because of this deficiency in English, that’s why Kondok Aguek, after work is usually spotted at Arkel hotel in Thongpiny courting Aguoi’s help in drafting the Minister’s letters and documents. it is also reported that Yel seriously needs Aguou’s help in writing, which also explains, why every evening Yel delivers documents to Agou who is normally parked in other compound for the president after being prohibited entry into the main presidential building.
Yel Luol the Executive Director in the Office of the President and entrenched Morkuaism into the administration of the presidency. Morkuaism is a novel practice in South Sudan politics based on a kind of a new deal between aides in the office of the president and some corruptees and businessman. It’s the notion that you let us do what we want—which means using the office of the president to ensure their debts are settled by the ministry of finance while you pay them exorbitant commissions.
The crises that occurred on the 15 of December is suggestive of the diminishing poltics that is engulfing our young nations and to stop the exacerbation of this, we have to pay the heavy price of reforms, and that starts with the highest land in the nation.
Incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism employed by Yel Luol and Mayen Wol represents a wholesale abuse of power by these elements must be stopped but more importantly, the President needs to surround himself with people who are replenish with administrative skills and innovative ideas not the likes of Yel Luol, Mayen Wol and their associates who are bankrupt of new ideas but full bank balances.
Dr Thon Awan holds PhD in corruption and embezzlement, University of Yel and Mayen and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org