By Gelbeny Majok Lual
July 3rd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – On 4th February 2017, the notorious Guptas brothers of South Africa and sons of a local shopkeeper who has risen, almost magically, to become one of the richest families a world away in South Africa took their last flight out of South Africa. They turned off the GPS tracking device of their Bombadier private jet as they cruise out of the skies of South Africa. Ten days later after their departure, the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma who had been implicated by the Guptas brothers in a series of financial scandal resigned as President of South African despite the fact that he had more than a year left as South Africa’s president. The Guptas brothers had brought down the Presidency of Jacob Zuma; a freedon fighter and a man who gave his life to fight for the freedom of black South Africans from apartheid.
Back home in South Sudan, the story rings louder than ever before because one man by the name of Rizik Dominic Samuel, the current and the longest serving Executive Director in the Office of the President is on a mission to end the Presidency of our beloved President Salva Kiir Mayardit. On 5th June 2019, Rizik Dominic Samuel was embroiled in serious corruption scandals involving millions of US Dollars in cash and assets hidden in East African countries. Rizik Dominic Samuel has apparently been using the names of the President to secure lucrative contracts and cash payments as kickbacks from his business cronies namely Ashraf Al-Cardinal who owns Al Cardinal Investment Co. Ltd and Kur Ajing Ater who owns Green for Logistics Services Co. Ltd. These two companies have been awarded billions of US Dollars in bogus contracts courtesy of Rizik Dominic Samuel. In one brazen example that defies any logic, Rizik Samuel Dominic reportedly wrote a letter instructing the Central Bank of South Sudan to allow his wife to cash millions of US Dollars in the name of the President of the Republic despite the fact that President Salva Kiir had not given any directives to withdraw such huge amount of money from the Central Bank of South Sudan.
For those who are familiar with political events in South Sudan, Rizik Dominic Samuel is not just using the Office of the President or the name of our beloved President Salva Kiir Mayardit to enrich himself and his friends; he is pursuing a bigger agenda: to bring down the Presidency of H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit just like the Guptas brothers did to President Jacob Zuma in South Africa.
So how did an outsider from a humble beginning who broke seemingly overnight into the very pinnacle of political power found himself in such a position and what is his end game? For a start, Rizik Dominic Samuel was seconded to the Office of the President in 2013 as Protocol Officer. This was part of our beloved President’s plan to change the face of the Office of the President which had been tainted by allegations of clanism, nepotism and favoritism. This was a noble gesture from President Salva Kiir Mayardit who has always been a man of people and loves all South Sudanese equally regardless of their tribal, social or political backgrounds. It didn’t take long before Rizik Dominic Samuel started working against senior officials in the Office of the President as a way of warming his way to the highly sensitive position of the Executive Director in the Office of the President. He was mainly motivated by greed to enrich himself and the ultimate goal of bringing down the Presidency of Salva Kiir Mayardit and with no doubt, he has succeeded as clearly elaborated below;
Sympathizer, Supporter and Financier of the former SPLA Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan
At the heart of the coup plot by Gen. Paul Malong to get rid of President Salva Kiir Mayardit was Rizik Dominic Samuel. He is a diehard loyalist and arden supporter of Gen. Paul Malong who was relieved from his position as Army chief in May 2017. Rizik Dominic Samuel was one of the architects of the failed coup plot against President Salva Kiir Mayardit by his then Chief of Staff. Rizik Dominic Samuel played his cards close to his chest just like the Guptas brothers in South Africa who were thriving off their ties to President Thabo Mbeki who was incumbent while at the same time reaching out to Jacob Zuma, the archrival of Mbeki at the time. Rizik Dominic was once captured on video telling his friends and cronies that President Salva Kiir Mayardit was “in the palms of his hands”. He (Rizik Dominic) said he can choose to “squeeze his palms hence ending the Presidency of Salva Kiir Mayardit or release his palms and allow the President to continue to run the country”. It was one loyal and patriotic soldier Gen. Akol Koor Kuc who rescued our beloved President from the york of betrayal by Gen. Paul Malong, Rizik Dominic Samuel and members of their group. As result of his timely intervention to rescue President, Rizik Dominic and his group set their eyes on Gen. Akol Koor Kuc and they have been spreading rumours and outright lies against him; all in a futile attempt to convince the President to relieve Gen. Akol Koor from his position.
According to other reliable sources within Rizik’s so-called “High Table Group” that regularly meet at a leading hotel in Juba, Rizik has been secretly leaking state secrets to Gen. Paul Malong. Due to sensitivity of the information in our possession, we are not able to disclose it now. It is to be noted that leaking State secrets or espionage is treason which is punishable by death under the law and Constitution. As a Brigadier General within the National Security Service one would have expected Rizik Dominic to know better. It has also been reliably confirmed and verified by credible sources within Rizik’s own cronies that Rizik Dominic has been providing financial support to Gen. Paul Malong Awan in Nairobi. It is no wonder that Gen. Paul Malong has not shown any interest whatsoever to join implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement just like other opposition elements. Gen. Paul Malong continues to enjoy comfortable life in Nairobi as he plot day and night against our beloved President Salva Kiir Mayardit courtesy of financial support from Rizik Dominic Samuel.
Creating revolt against the ruling party (SPLM)
Unlike his predecessor Ustaz Yel Luol Koor, Rizik Dominic Samuel has created hatred against the President of Republic who is also the Chairman of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM). He has done this by denying senior cadres of SPLM an opportunity to meet and consult the President on important matters within the SPLM. In return, these SPLM senior cadres have voiced their anger and frustrations by turning against the party and the Chairman of the Party Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit. These actions from Rizik do not only pose serious threat against SPLM as the ruling party but also the tenure of President Salva Kiir as the President of the Republic of South Sudan. It is not right for one man with no political influence or contribution even from his own hometown to be allowed to wreck havoc and political decent within the historical SPLM party. Rizik Dominic Samuel poses serious political risk to our beloved President, the historical SPLM party and the country at large. Rizik Dominic Samuel must leave and pave way for an individual who can serve the interest of our President, the SPLM party and the country. He has turned appointment with the President of the Republic into lucrative business opportunities. One senior SPLM party member and current Minister was quoted to have complained bitterly about how Rizik Dominic always demand for special favours in advance from them before he can secure their appointment with the President of the Republic.
Misleading the President of the Republic on Key and Strategic Cabinet Appointments and State-owned enterprises
Since his appointment to the position of the Acting Executive Director, Rizik Dominic Samuel has misled the President of the Republic on several occasions to appoint some of Rizik’s cronies to key and strategic positions in the government. One recent example was the appointment of Biel Jok Thiec as Undersecretary of Finance at the Ministry of Finance and Planning. The appointment of Biel Jok was the cornerstone of Rizik’s elaborate plan to enrich himself and his cronies from the national coffers through rent seeking, cronism and outright theft. Another example was the appointment of a former official at the Ministry of Finance to the position of grade 3 ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Reliable sources have intimated that this particular individual paid more than $300,000 in cash as a bribe to Rizik to facilitate his appointment as an ambassador. It is to be recalled that this individual was the key man who used his powers as a director at the Ministry of Finance to ensure that all payment requested by Rizik Dominic using the name of the President including fictitious claims are paid as soon as possible.
Misusing name of the name of the President and the Presidency for Personal Gains
Early this year, Rizik Dominic played a key role in the award of multi-billion buy clomid no prescription dollar contract to a shadowy company called Sahara Energy Resources DMCC to explore oil resources in South Sudan. Rizik Dominic used the name of the President to secure lifting of crude oil worth $1.2 billion for Sahara Energy Resources. According to the deal brokered singlehandedly by Rizik, Sahara Energy Resources was supposed to give a loan of $600 Million to Government of South Sudan. According to reliable sources privy to the deal, not even a single dollar has been paid to the Government. However, Rizik Dominic has already received millions of US dollars which he has stashed away in Dubai and East African countries. Rizik used the name of the President to secure payment worth $37,999,950 to his business crony Kur Ajing Ater for food items that were never supplied to the national army.
It is reported that Rizik Dominic was paid $15,000,000 in cash for his role in this deal. The money was transferred to the account of one of his other cronies called Bol Bol Areech in Dubai. As if this was not enough, Rizik immediately embarked on negotiating another deal worth USD 8.7 billion to the same Sahara Energy Resources to lift South Sudan crude oil in exchange for providing much needed cash to finance operations of the Government including the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. According to a reliable source, it is this deal that may have been the last straw that broke the camel’s back prompting the President of Republic Salva Kiir Mayardit to fire the Minister of Petroleum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth who together with Rizik Dominic Samuel conspired to loot billion of US dollars from State coffers in the name of “providing loan to the Government of South Sudan” from bogus businessmen and fraudsters. Documents within our possession show that on 16th January 2019, Rizik Dominic Samuel used his position to secure payment worth USD 19,500,000 to Al Cardinal Investments LLC which is owned by Ashraf Cardinal and another payment of USD 9,500,000 to Green for Logistics LLC.
Both payments were made to cover “cost of food items and vehicles” yet thousand of soldiers go without food and basic needs. I have attached two letters directing the Central Bank of South Sudan transfer millions of US Dollars to these two companies. Both companies have their bank accounts in Dubai where Rizik Dominic has stashed millions of US Dollars in offshore accounts. Is it a coincidence or a well-calculated plot to hide the stolen loot from the people of South Sudan? It is time to let the people of South Sudan know who their real enemies are. Individuals like Rizik Dominic, Ashraf Cardinal, Kur Ajing and the little know Akol Ayii of Trinity Energy are the real enemies of peace, progress and development in South Sudan. They are the reason why civil servants and our gallant forces from South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) have not been paid for months now. They have hijacked the sweat, blood and tears of the people of South Sudan who fought tirelessly for a better South Sudan for their own selfish interest. They are turning people of South Sudan against our beloved President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
A few days after the dismissal of Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth as Minister of Petroleum, an online newspaper based in South Africa called Mail & Guardian reported that one of the individuals from Sahara Energy Resources called Njock Ajuk Eyong who was involved in the negotiations of the deal and who actually met the President of the Republic and even took photos with our President is a convicted criminal and a fraudster. Eyong was convicted of money laundering and impersonation of United States Congressman. By allowing and facilitating convicted criminals and fraudsters to meet the President of the Republic, Rizik Dominic has clearly shown his intentions to bring down President Salva Kiir Mayardit by associating him with internationally known criminals and fraudsters. He has tainted the clean image of the President of the Republic before the eyes of the world. His actions are not only a threat to the well-being of our beloved President but also the entire State of South Sudan. President Salva Kiir Mayardit was elected by South Sudanese as their democratically elected leader. He represents our hopes, dreams and aspirations. He is the symbol of statehood, unity and stability. It is therefore our collective responsibility as South Sudanese to ensure that selfish individuals like Rizik Dominic Samuel are not allowed to taint the image and impeccable records of our beloved President.
Lack of academic qualification and experience
Unlike his immediate predecessor Ustaz Yel Luol Koor, Rizik Dominic do not possess any requisite academic qualifications and experience to hold such sensitive position at the heart of the Presidency. This renders him a political liability that must be gotten rid off and replaced with a person with academic qualification, experience and general understanding of the convergence of political, social and economic matters of a nation state. The example highlighted of facilitating a criminal and a fraudster to meet the President shows that Rizik Dominic does not understand the sensitivity of the position he is holding. After all, he has used the position to exert enormous influence to enrich himself and his cronies. The position of the Executive Director in the Office of the President equals that of a gatekeeper. It is the responsibility of the Executive Director in coordination with relevant national security agencies to vet and carry out due diligence on the backgrounds of individuals – especially foreigners – who want to see the President. It is clear that Rizik Dominic failed terribly in this case. He is not the right person to serve our beloved President as Executive Director in the Office of the President.
The position of the Executive Director in the Office of the President is quite demanding and challenging in equal measure. It needs someone who is physically fit and healthy to handle pressures that come with such sensitive position. Rizik Dominic is suffering from serious illnesses including gout, diabetes and high blood pressure that make him unable to carry out the duties of the ever-demanding position of the Executive Director in the Office of the President. Any shortcoming on the part of Rizik Dominic Samuel because of his poor health will always be blamed on our President Salva Kiir Mayardit. The President of the Republic goes without saying, a very busy man. He needs a team of energetic, committed and dedicated individuals to help him deliver his mandate to the people of the Republic of South Sudan.
Insulting and Manipulating President’s Family
While publicly portraying himself as an ardent supporter of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Rizik Samuel has been privately insulting and talking ill of the President and his family. He has been quoted by some of his closest friends as describing the President’s family as “bunch of drunkards without future”. He is openly bragging to his friends and cronies that “he got the President by the ball and that he will never be relived from his position by the President of the Republic”. Just like the Guptas brothers used the son of President Jacob Zuma to secure lucrative government contracts and deals from the South African government, Rizik Dominic is seemingly reading from the same script. He is out to use the President and his family for his personal gains. With this unsavoury revelation from the inner circle of Rizik’s closest friends and cronies, Rizik has shown beyond any reasonable doubt that he does not have respect for our beloved President, the institution of the Presidency and the family of our President. Rizik does not deserve the honour of holding the position of the Executive Director in the Office of the President.
Time to go
Our beloved President Salva Kiir Mayardit is a good man; kind-hearted, loyal, patriotic and above selfless. He cares deeply about the people of South Sudan and he will sacrifice his own life and happiness for them. In the same way, he deserves to be served by qualified, competent and dedicated people who subscribe to the same school of thought; not self-serving individuals like Rizik Dominic who are out to use the Office of the President to enrich themselves and their cronies. It is abundantly clear that Rizik Dominic does not care about the legacy of the President.
He is selling the country down the river. He is out to bring down the Presidency of our beloved Salva Kiir Mayardit. Rizik Dominic has served as Acting Executive Director in the Office of the President for nearly 5 years. He has amassed wealth beyond his wildest dreams; this wealth is safely stashed away in form of fat bank accounts, properties and latest top of the range motor vehicles. It has been a good run for Rizik Dominic and it is time for the President of the Republic to let him go and enjoy windfall and loot while giving to others who are selfless, qualified and experienced a chance to serve and help our beloved President serve the people of the Republic of South Sudan. It is time Mr. President to let Rizik Dominic go; he is a disgrace to your good name and good intentions, to the Presidency and to the Republic of South Sudan at large. He has exhausted his usefulness if he ever had any.
Gelbeny Majok Lual is an Author and Commentator on Current Social, Economic and Political issues in South Sudan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org