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Opinion: Gen. Kuol Manyang admitted his alleged corruption scandals and apologized to the president in their recent reconciliation

Opinion,

By Cde Nicolas Chan.

Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk bowing before Kiir during their recent reconciliation in Bor, Jonglei State(Photo credit: courtesy image)
Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk bowing before Kiir during their recent reconciliation in Bor, Jonglei State(Photo credit: courtesy image)

April 2, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — As the Jieng popular saying goes, (dom cuar ku tit rot): catch a thief and try to be watchful of his next moves. Gen. Kuoldit in his recent meeting to reconcile their differences with the Head of the State, attended by the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Deng Dau, admitted having contributed to the collapse of the economy through corruption. Kuol’s long known history of corruption is haunting him, it was the cause of his aimless outburst. The surest way he could bury the loot was by threatening the president to remain silent, amidst multiple corruption scandals involving him. That is what he was doing!

He told President Kiir that he was aware of the harm his actions produced 1) as a Federal Minister of infrastructure, Roads and Bridges in Khartoum, 2) Governor of Jonglei state, 3) Minister of Defense and finally as a Senior Presidential Advisor. He admitted having engaged in a gross corruption scheme intentionally. He admitted having taken 2.5 million USD for kick starting the Sudanese peace initiative which he did not implement. He reneged after securing the cash to date. He admitted taking 309.million USD to construct an Airbase at Bilpham but failed to use the money appropriately. While in Khartoum as Minister for Infrastructure, he did not build a single road or bridge in Southern Sudan by then. 

Kuol’s reasons of multiple discrepancies as reported from the reconciliatory meeting

He honestly stated that there was no accountability and appropriation of funds towards government projects. That he embezzled a lot of money, citing that nobody was using the government money in his/her reach for development’s cause among the national ministers and state governors. And that the president was not holding the corrupt government officials to account, so everyone took away what was at their ministry. “So I also have to take care of myself”, he concluded. Kuoldit was honest enough in his explanation. 

In attendance were his two Bor sons and political associates, Mr.Deng Dau and Michael Makuei Lueth. Gen. Awet Akot was sidelined. Wani Igga and Nunu Kumba were excluded in the meeting. Kuol turned what was thought as an SPLM led-discontent with the chairman to a Bor issue. 

In addition, Kuol revealed that he was not happy with the behavior of Tut Gatluak, the presidential Security advisor at the presidency. That Tut was occupying every space, wanted to control and prevent the president from direct engagement with the historical SPLM senior members. Kuol is reported to have asked Makuei and Deng Dau to make inputs which they did in a reconciliatory tone. They were reconciled and have agreed to work together for the common purpose within the party and government. 

Further to note, was one sticky point about Tut Kew. Kuoldit attended the meeting with his head high. He was going to the meeting knowing that Tut’s removal was a sure deal. After a lengthy exchange of words, he realized that his top demand was untenable.  With all bombarding and attacking approaches and persuasive tactics from Manyang, the president’s stance on Tut’s removal was unchanging. This eventually compelled Kuol to decline his position only to advise President Kiir to tame Tut so that he remains within his line of duty. The meeting ended successfully before the scheduled trip to Bor materialized. 

What South Sudanese need to know about the uproar of Kuol Manyang in the media weeks ago?

Kuol Manyang’s two weeks’ actions which made him look like a savior by many was a smoke screening game. When he openly criticized his colleague, he was merely looking for a window of opportunity to meet with the president over his own personal matters. Several contracts belonging to his children are stuck at the ministry of Finance. He knew without obtaining an approval and force from the president, it would not be easier to get cash from the ministry. His son Chaw owns a business in Dubai, all built with the capital obtained through dubious government contracts. Kuol will now capitalize on his recent reconciliatory meeting with the president to make the ends meet. He will use his meeting with the president to push for payment at sectors with his children’s sham contracts. 

Secondly, there is a game around the Shirikat incident in which the President’s relative was killed including a few others from the Bor community. Kuol was faced with a conflict of loyalty between his comrade Salva and his community. As usual, Bor politicians put the Bor community above everything else. Which is good. As the case has been going on, but at a snail pace, Kuol was trying to look serious in the eyes of his people of Bor, in one hand by unleashing his deep anger at the president. While on another, was eagerly hunting for an opportunity to trigger chaos to dodge responsibility as part of the government. He was aware that President Kiir had acted maturely this time; by appointing a mixed team of experts to conduct an independent investigation into the case and deliver a final distilled report to the court openly and legally. Kiir’s approach towards this complex case left Kuol restless and confused. Hence, he thought of swimming into a pool with clear water and stirring it up. Thinking anything meaningful might grow from the confusion he would create that would rescue his people not aware that he was directing a bullet straight to his right foot. 

Kuol realized that if the Shirikat case had to proceed, it would legally implicate many people of Bor’s descent who might have connived or taken part in the killing of Lual Marine. That was one driving factor which agitated him to stir up chaos, so that the case does not continue. He has forgotten that the killed officer is a direct relative to Mr. President, and the president cleverly chose to rely on the law to take it cause without interference, compromise or favor. Kuol’s attempts to look smarter is going to fail miserably. Shirikat incident is very sensitive and should not be politicized. Lual Akook and Bor members killed in Shirikat should be left to the independent court of law to decide. 

Finally, Kuol manipulated Gen. Awet Akot to fight for his own interest. He did not include Awetdit to be part of the meeting with the president. Neither was the meeting inclusive to involve other senior SPLM cadres like Wani Igga and Jemma Nunu Kumba. He was seen with his two Bor associates in the meeting. That alone was enough to explain why his uproarious noise in the media was not about the SPLM, South Sudanese or the government failure but own agenda. 

The author is a concern South Sudanese citizen. He can be reached through email at nicolasmadingchan@gmail.com


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