Contributor's Opinion

Call to remove minister of finance

By Angelo Makuek Longar.

Open Letter to President, H.E  Salva Kiir Mayardit,

Republic of South Sudan, Juba.

Re: Calls for removal of Hon. Salvatore Garang Mabior, Minister of Finance & Economic Planning, R-TGoNU.

South Sudan Diplomatic Service & Civil Service: The sufferers of imposed cartels economy.

“The legacy of Salvatore’s inability to pay Diplomats & Civil Servants  on monthly basis”

Dear President Salva,

South Sudan Finance Minister, Salvatore Garang Mabiordit (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)
South Sudan Finance Minister, Salvatore Garang Mabiordit (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

August 26, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – Due to the expanding horizon of interpersonal relationships, people and government have identified the fact that “NO MAN IS AN ISLAND.” The presumption has it that  People are tied up by the single  thread of neighborhood where they may interacts positively or negatively. Because people need to mutually benefit from each other, they deviced ways of advancing these interdependent relationship. This is the essence of diplomacy where a certain country sent its members to protect and promote its interest in a foreign land.

In this sense, members of diplomatic service are country’s representative abroad. Their needs are taken care of, by the sending country. As the title implies, South Sudan is not an exception. It started to have its mission as soon as the country got independence. Since then, it has registered one of the unsuccessful diplomatic mission in the world. For almost a decade,  it is undeniable that South Sudan Diplomatic service is a tale of shame and irresponsibility. The country has neglected the foreign service since independence. Every year, there is a diplomatic service crisis where the diplomats go for several months without salaries and rental services. Since 2019, all the diplomats serving in the foreign Countries have never received any salary.

Notable among them are USA, UK, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Germany, Tanzania and Zimbabwe; as narrated below;

In USA, the Ambassador and all the diplomatic staffs are in dire condition. They have not received any salary since January. As  of now, the  embassy’s vehicles slated “CD” have been replaced with private number plates and put on business for income generation. It is this money that is use for rent and catering for the needs of the ambassador. In UK, the South Sudan Embassy is closed due to the failure of the government to pay the rents. The owner of the building has evicted the other diplomats except the ambassador who is only allowed to stay in a room and may soon be evicted as well.

In Ethiopia, the staffs are on strike. They have never received any salary for almost 8 months. Egypt is never to be mentioned. The Ambassador is facing serious rental  challenges. It is only in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda where the living condition of diplomats is relatively stable. In Kenya, Hon. Awut Deng Achuil, the former minsirer of Foreign Affairs, has bought a piece of land for the embassy. This plot is now on construction which may soon solve the rental challenges.

In Uganda, Diplomats have registered their families as refugees. This is where they get monthly food stuffs.  In Tanzania, the embassy is closed. The landlord has evicted the ambassador due to the failure of the embassy to pay rent. In Germany, the embassy is also closed.  In Zimbabwe, the Ambassador is residing in the former SPLM office given by the government of Zimbabwe during liberation. This has solved the problems of rents. In general, all diplomats are facing the problems of salaries. The financial accounts of all embassies have been closed due to long overdraft. For 8 months, diplomats have never received  anything.

This put South Sudan above Somalia in terms of State Failure. In records, South Sudan has surpassed Somalia in terms of Salary delay. It was only once, years ago when Somalia has only failed to issue salaries for six months. Now, South Sudan is going closed to 8 months without salaries to both national and foreign service.

This blame goes straight to the ministry of Finance and economic planning. Where on earth can the diplomats, serving in foreign Countries go for several months without salaries? This is an insult to the nation and it has disgraced the diplomatic service of this country. Our foreign service has been reduced into  hustle-bustle industry.  Imagine, a diplomat holding a Diplomatic passport making a taxi business in a foreign country. This is untold and must be looked into by the president.

All over the world, Diplomatic service is the most expensive mission that a country spend on. USA spend billions of dollars on foreign mission. South Sudan should at least spend millions of dollars instead of wasting these cash on bribes and unnecessary projects of counterinsurgency. As a result of failing to fund these missions, the country is on the bending knees of arms embargo, tragetted sanctions and conditional loans. The aim of any diplomatic mission is to protect and promote the national  interest of the nation.It can mobilize international support for the regime continuity. All these tasks require adequate funding.

Despite the fact that MFA&IC has its own budget, the ministry of Finance and Economic planning is always adamant to the incidental demands of the foreign service.This has worsened during Hon. Salvatore Garang Mabiordit’s time. The country’s diplomats are facing serious financial challenges and he has refused to release their arrears for 8 months. This has crippled the Diplomatic service as offices have been shut down in several countries.The diplomats have written letters of protest yet there is no change. The country’s top leadership should intervene by forcing the minister of Finance to pay all these arrears or replace him with economically informed person.

Finance is the engine of diplomacy. Without finances, the foreign missions will be stuck. These needs serious measures. If the government is incapable of taking care of its diplomatic missions, it is better to shut down all the embassies instead of causing national shame abroad. Diplomats are considered to be number one citizens of a given state. They shouldn’t be evicted or have their residences closed down. If such a thing happened, it means the government is bankrupt and there is a looming collapses.

Since 2018, with the appointment of Hon. Salvaore Garang Mabiordit, the Diplomatic missions have been ailing. Even when all the approvals are done by the MFA and the president, he normally refuse to issue the salaries. The government should take serious note or else the diplomats will bring shame to the nation. It was the government who deployed them abroad. How do the same government stop funding the activies as well as their salaries? This is unbecoming. The president should remove Salvatore and bring in a problem oriented solver! The Diplomatic Service crisis needs urgent solutions. Either he clear these arrears or he is fired from this financial docket.

In our National Anthem, South Sudan is depicted as a land of great Abundances. This goes without doubt that the country is blessed with untold resources. It is a rich motherland blessed with minerals and one above them is oil. Such a country must have a  luxurious diplomatic service whose diplomats must not be evicted from houses, whose offices must not be shutdown and whose salaries must not delay.

Despite these resources, South Sudan Diplomatic service is the poorest in the world. Poorer to an extend that Somalia far more better than it. It is an open secret that South Sudanese embassies abroad have never celebrated our national holidays due yo lack of finances. This is so shameful and I blame it on the ministry of finance for failing to timely issue the Diplomatic funds.

In this globalizing world of diplomacy, diplomats are the messengers with which the governments communicates. A messenger must be fully fed such that he/she has a strength to move,  deliver the message and bring feedback. This is not the case with South Sudan, Our country’s representatives are a “Company of Hungry Messengers” sent by a rich motherland where Milk, honey, gold and oil money make heave of  piles under ministers’  room pits. In this case, poor Diplomatic service beget failure. Until we fund the diplomats fully, we shall not reap the fruits of sound diplomacy.

Dear President Salva,

Worse still, the civil service of South Sudan is most starving all over the world due to inability of the financial institution like Finance in living up to its major function such as servicing public servants salaries per monthly basis as it is convention in other parts of the world yet oil & non-oil revenues continues flowing into state treasuries but what eats money remains the most damning question demanding answers from country’s financial custodian- Hon. Garang Mabiordit? Salvatore Garang Mabior under his watch has successfully installed into country’s system kleptocratic economic system- the cartel economy where oil & non-oil revenues of the state are siphoned into offshore accounts  while the rest that has reached the country got themselves buried under cartels’ bed at their houses? This is not the country that you as the President has participated to liberate in the hands of parasitic Arabs. This superimposed cartel economy must be gotten rid of as salvation of your great earned liberation credentials through overhaul of the whole financial system management that starts with relieving of financial predator and clueless Garang Mabiordit. It has been 8 or so months without civil servants salaries.

Worse still, the Central Bank of South Sudan has been announced dry by its leadership? The political power being managed by you as President of the Republic is only kept alive when government institutions are well-equipped financially, internationally through servicing of diplomatic missions and domestically through issuance of public servants salaries? But now as things stand, none is running, neither diplomatic nor public service which registered sure-coming of state of collapse of your rule being destroyed by cartels in your eyes.

In conclusion, There is no Sound Diplomatic and public service without finances. It is only through finances that makes diplomacy and public service smoothly functions and succeed. To realize the locked up abilities of our foreign service, President Kiir Mayardit should swiftly removed Hon. Salvatore Garang and appoint a true  problem oriented solver.

Angelo Makuek Longar.

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