September 10, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– Today the family of Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, a former rebel politician who now serves as the Minister of Petroleum, visited the Presidential Palace to hear a word of condolences from the president’s mouth and his assurance to stand with the widower’s family in solidarity.
Ezekiel Lol, a former Ambassador to Washington who rebelled shortly after he was sacked in 2013, lost his first wife, Rachel Nyahok Gatkuoth, to cancer last month in Kernersville, NC, USA.
According to Mr. Puoch Riek Deng, the Director in the office of Mr. Lol Gatkuoth, the family of Amb. Lol was assured support of the “First Family”, that of the Transitional Government of National Unity and support of the whole government of President Salva Kiir to mourn his beloved wife and support for his children.
“His Excellency the President delivered words of condolences and encouragement to Ambassador Gatkuoth and the kids, Duop, Nyamal and Nyewech. His Excellency the President Kiir assured the kids his personal support and that of his family and the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).” Mr. Puoch wrote on his Facebook’s timeline.
“In turn [return], Honorable Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth thanked the President for his personal support and that of his family and the whole Government. This is the spirit of unity and social cohesion that we need in the Republic of South Sudan, Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth concluded.” Puoch continued.
Amb. Gatkuoth and his delegation had the opportunity to travel to the United States of America last week to attend the final viewing of the deceased in America and to bring her body to South Sudan for final viewing and burial.
On Friday this week, September 8th, the office of Ambassador Lol Gatkuoth organized funeral prayers in the house of Ambassador Ezekiel at Thongpiny Residential Area.
Despite that friends, family and government officials were invited to attend the funeral prayers, President Salva Kiir failed to attend the service which called for Mr. Lol and his children to visit the President at home.
Gatkuoth and his organizing committee invited Akumdit Studio to photograph the meeting with president which granted Akech Akum Deng, the owner of the studio, a new opportunity to access J1, the Palace.
“Today I had our nation highest honor to finally meeting the president of the Republic of South Sudan H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit at his Residence in J1.” Said the excited photographer.
“Thank to Hon. Amb. Ezekeil Lol Gatkuoth for all the effort to provide such great opportunity for Akumdit studio to have such access privileged.” Akech continued.
On the other hand, Lol has been criticized by his critics for visiting Salva Kiir in his house to seek his condolences.
“” I never seen or heard in my life or in South Sudan culture or western society culture for a victim to visit people to receive a condolences. In most cultures I don’t know that of Dinka, people including the presidents or pastors visit victims and give words of encouragements and condolences. Another history to what was done by Lul Ruai Kong and his mother-in law is made in Juba in search of political support. I can’t believe this could happened only poor man like Juda Lol could do this and it’s a huge insult to the deceased person, I can’t imagine how the family of deceased would feel, extremely shameful indeed!!!” Said Mun Khat.
Critics believe that Lol politicized the death of his late wife for political gains.