Opinion: Dr. Olympio is far better than finance minister

By Zechariah Makuach Maror

Former South Sudan National Revenue Authority Commissioner-General Dr. Olympio Attipoe (File/Supplied/Nyamilepdia)

January 10th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – On 08 January 2020, the planning officer in the ministry of finance and planning Mathiang Jalap Dongrin has written an article on Dawn newspaper titled,‘’Response to Zechariah Makuach Maror’s article titled Dr. Olympio Attipoe the victim of tamed corruption in South Sudan’’.

In his opinion he wrote as a representative of the minister and not ministry, he was trying to argue that national staff in financial sector are more capable to perform the job more than the outlandish contractor called Dr Attipoe. He added that the former commissioner of revenue authority was dismissed because of financial fraud by opening sole private account in Mombasa without the knowledge of the minister of finance and planning.

Before I argued on his points, I want to start like this we live in a dreadfully stressed society where there is a competition of wealth among the youths for personal growth and development. Similarly, there is competition for personal capital accumulation and capital formation, luxurious life, etc. among individuals as well. Thus, their interests take priority over law, morality and fear lest of punishment. Analogous to other social problems like war, diseases and social violence, financial corruption ranks first amongst the factor that destroyed a society. Though arduous, it is impossible to eradicate corruption systematically from an institution headed by corrupt socialized individuals like minister of finance and his cronies in the person of Mathiang Jalap Dongrin. Hence, through our consolidated efforts as mindful young citizen, we will strive to educate liken of plate writers such as Mathiang Jalap who think corruption come footing in person and introduces itself that I am corruption. Corrupt are liken to the minister of finance whom he Mathiang praised day and night to pave the way for living.

To educate you a little bit, “Corruption does not merely refer to the unethical and dishonest behavior of people in a society, it furthermore includes misusing one’s obligation as a citizen to allow or coaliting with public post holder whether elected politician or appointed civil servant to manipulate their inalienable rights for private gain.”

Therefore, we strive to get rid of it by beating the drums of punishments and raising anti-corruption slogans, along with dreaming of a corruption-free institution. Despite the fact that corruption has now become a hallmark of getting a good job in a financial institution head by Mathiang Jalap’s boss. it is important to understand that liken to his are motivated by material factors which lead to corrupt behavior that undermines truth, democracy, rule of law, human welfare and socio-economic development.

Jalap and the minister dismissed Dr Atippoe in mere prejudices because Jalap was mumbling in his overemphasized article that those who recognized foreigner’s capability are undergoing an identity crisis. This indicates to me that Jalap and his boss were the first sufferers of identity crisis. And he again contradicted himself that minister was the one who recommended Attipoe to be appointed by President. If the argument is correct then what miraculous university have they undergone with his boss in this one year to become capable of performing what they had not been performing before they recommended the foreigner? We all know the foreigner was brought to shut capability deficit that exist in none oil sector. And if so, no single South Sudanese is suffering from identity crisis but we are experiencing capable human resource chasm in reforming revenue authority and that was the reason why technocrat was contacted abroad, to fulfill that chasm.

It will be ignorant of Jalap to say Dr Atipoe is more corrupt than his deadwood boss, or that high-level national staff in financial sector are corruption-free than outlandish contracted technocrats or capable enough to reform the revenue system. This is because corruption attitude is a domesticated phenomenon to whomever works in financial sector that includes director of planning Mr. Jalap. The revenue structural reform which the man I know lest embarked on will take you more than twenty years to understand that he was correct.

You and your boss the minister had been there for more than three years and no single achievement and now you’re selling your capabilities on media. Is capability means the absence of civil servants wages for more than three months? Is capability means auctioning letters of credit for personal benefit in the market? Is capability means failure to pay diplomatic arrears for more than six months? Is capability mean lack of revenue Banking system? Is capability mean lobbying Parliamentarian to pass the rejected clumsy budget? Is capability means our President coming out public to reveal that minister of finance and planning is corrupt and totally failed to perform his duty? These are the few questions director for planning should answer to convince the public about the capabilities of his boss.

Jalap insisted on their unfounded accusations of saying Mr. Atippoe has opened a sole private account in Mombasa which is totally unrealistic in nature. I have been keenly listening to Dr. Atippoe’s interview on the media (Eye radio). And I quote him saying if he wanted to open private accounts for stealing money, why should he opened it in the nearest country like Mombasa Kenya and he has got far Ghana that no South Sudanese will access it. Your minister also formed a committee to investigate those allegations but your minister’s committee reported nothing up to date. And yet, you still fanatically contending that he has got fraud account in Mombasa. Who are you kidding with Jalap? Haa! Do you know the president of the Republic has publicly named your boss as the best failed minister of 2019 in front of lawmakers in the middle of last year? And now your boss wants to use this foreigner as a swimming pool of washing away his dirty corruption he had been practicing for number of years.

Jalap says the former commissioner-general of revenues authority was dismissed for publicized the collected taxes without knowledge of the minister claiming that he projected to equalize himself with the minister. I think in the system of governance there is something called transparency. transparency gives a narration that government financial, decisions, and processes are open to public scrutiny this can make government bodies work better and improved Government effectiveness. These are features of the most competent and honest decision-makers that need to teach incapable officials like your minister on how policies are working in practice.

Efficiency in the allocation of resources can also be improved by ensuring that the incomes are exhibit to the public and followed by proper distributions not to be captured and misuse by the elite, financial transparency reforms can result in substantial net savers of public resources and improved socio-economic and human development.

Do you know transparency is a weapon against corruption? Giving information to public is perhaps the most important way of building corrupt-free society by making citizen having access to information in order to play a key role in an effort to curb corruption and control their resources by themselves, thus enables citizens, the media and law enforcement agencies to use official records as a means to uncover cases of corruption, maladministration and finally act as a deterrent to future corruption. For your information, transparency is not equalizing one’s role and function to the minister’s supremacy as you put it, but it is system of thwarting dishonest behavior in public institutions. This proves that you are the misleader of the minister for taking such shameful decision.

Finally, Dr. Atippoe Revenue reform could’ve stimulated government economic stability and independence as the government collect more revenue to finance essential public services and other expenditure needs without recourse to external assistance. It would’ve to build transparent, fair and efficient revenue system that provides certainty and confidence for domestic and international businesses, catalysts private sector development and increases investment and creating employments for jobless population and thus improve the living standards of the South Sudanese. Sadly, the team in the ministry of finance and planning are not with the interest to serve the country. Talking about growth’s obstacle in South Sudan, the minister of Finance and Planning remains a significant threat to economic development. Insufficient revenues limit infrastructure investments as well as the provision of basic services. Reforming the administration and collection of the tax would have been crucial for developing country government but unfortunately. To be continues……

The writer is a political activist and he could be reached via zechariahmakuach@gmail.com or zeemakuach@hotmail.com

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