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Government’s Corrupt Finance Officers Found In Aweil

By Deng Mangok Ayuel
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To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism ― G. Edward Griffin

It is no longer at ease. Former factories and bakeries' workers in Khartoum turned finance officers in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Aweil were caught red-handed last week or involved in financial scandal of 8.9 million South Sudanese pounds.

These men with corrupt minds, or illiterate and unprofessional finance officers, who think that public money is like holy water, were imprisoned to reimburse the stolen money and to attest to the public that they were not capable to finance our institutions without a mess. These people plunged into temptations when high desire for money intoxicated their goddess-minds. Who doesn't have a desire for money? All of us need money but we should eat what belong to us than being hyenas in someone's luak.

Where did these junior finance staff get huge amount of money that is currently whirling in their personal bank accounts? Were they officially given a loan by the state ministry of finance? Should these corrupt alleged individuals be sacked when found guilty?

Of course, corruption is not a laughing matter. It has been a common thing, which is critically averting the minds of those who wanted to get rich quick. It was deeply embedded, and about to get institutionalize if alleged individuals were not imprisoned. It became an endemic to the system, created an asymmetrical society – a society where others can't afford to build a hut and spend less than a dollar per a day. It was unfortunate for people who wronged the majority. Our finance officers failed to show integrity at their work which was a corrupt denigration of intention.

Thereafter, note that I am not talking about Mr. Smooth. It is about fraudulence finance staff who have had been so egotistical and publicly boasting of money they have stolen from the state government. These guys who regarded anyone a failed man when seeing him moving on foot in the town are condensed to inmates in order to tell bitter stories of getting rich quick or remain in jail. This is a cash adventure they will not forget. Of course, I have ceased to venerate the appalling and self-indulgence practice done by our brothers against the people of Aweil. All in all, my cousin is amount the group. I am not against their riches but they should eat what belong to them.

Give Caesar his due. Nobody anywhere in the world is permitted by law to take what doesn't belong to him/her. We should be law abiding people if we wanted our country to flourish economically. We need to be trusted so that we can't be easily assumed of being dishonest elements in the society.

A man's pride brings him low, but man of lowly spirit gains honor. And the difference between a corrupt and an honest person is surprisingly obsessive than a wound in the eyes. The corrupt person has a price and the honest person has value. When these corrupt individuals get released from hot cell, the will begin hiding and their fame begins to fade like morning dew in the society. Thieves are like owls, nobody glorify their doing willingly.

I have witnessed that corrupt alleged individuals in Aweil are usually jailed, unlike the ones of Juba. Our Kosti Manibes in the ministry of finance were arrested, sacked from offices for wrong doings. Congratulation to the state governor for a job well done! Our governor came to stay. He has started making a difference. No joke with General Paul. I like the way he usually respond to social, political or any situation that seems to be a threat to our nation. Long live the governor for Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Aweil.

It was Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus Christ for financial gain. Who betrayed our finance officers who believed that spear-masters may consent them to put Mading Aweil into their bags and escape in our eyes without any question. No wonder! These Zacchaeuses of Aweil, like Zacchaeus, the tax collector in the Bible who cheated the public by pocketing taxes, shall not remain unpunished in the court of law. Where did they keep this huge amount of money they took within a short time?

Lack of trained task force caused corruption. It is important for government, especially the ministry of labor to conduct labor market assessment in order to address occupational demands and to professionalize institutions, and create appropriate mechanisms for efficient reporting systems. I am hoping that the newly appointed Minister of Finance for Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Aweil shall work hard to establish electronic financial systems where individuals shall be fully accounted for any wrongdoing. The ministry is a man with vast experiences unlike the past ones.

Many institutions in South Sudan have not been professionalized. Some employees lacked job descriptions, other employees come to jot down their names in the attendance books in their workplaces and leave for private businesses due to lack of supervision. These employees who have no job descriptions do not know where to start and end at their workplaces. Again, some of these employees come at the end of the month to collect their salaries without any work done. Most of them are reduced to gossipers under the mahogany trees in the town. Why do government pays those who are doing less work than expected?

By the way, finance staff or call them 'cashiers for gain' might have a consortium and that is why they have been so resistance, unwillingly yawning for changes in the system for long time. I found these people paying the employees in 2010, using a pay-sheet or ghost-list – a well drafted white paper using a funny hand-writing than a computer when the ministry of finance has many computers to be use for these purposes. What is the use of computers in the ministry of finance?

How comes for few people to pocket huge amount of money when others are starving in Apada and Maper? Public money has been in wrong hands, but we pray that our governor is currently taking this issue as a serious case. They should be sent home and refund the money. I am not wasting time by writing this piece but cautioning the authority that these people should face justice so that others should hibernate from corruption.

In today's world, no one is bigger than money. Wherever you go, the importance of riches and money is glimpsed. These days, respect depends on the status and height of a person in term of money. When ordinary citizens who have been starving see this, they naively get disheartened and make impressions on their minds that money is everything, and can buy anything, whether it is our moral values or self respect. But that is a different story. Money is an evil. Thus, money becomes their high desire and they started doing wrong things for gaining status in the society either by hook or by crook, I am pleased to inform our people that corruption is slowly fading after people are jailed in Aweil. Days are not equal; it was a good day for them when they started enjoying the corrupted portions, and it became a bad day when they began eating beans in prison. Those teachers whose money was laundered in Aweil are alive. It's a devil or Machardit that will praise the evildoings of these quack finance officers.

Corruption is a very big disease that is making fun of our moral values and our customs. It's typically concerned with bribery – takes several forms like extortion, embezzlement. It has made people to go into the world of crimes. In government and private institutions, bribery becomes a tradition. People are forced to give enticement until they become helpless as they are left with no options when things gone astray. Sometimes back, bribe was paid for getting wrong things done but now bribe is paid for getting right things done at right time.

Why can't you {guys} bribe me so that I go to persuade a big man to free you? This is a joke! I will never ask the big man to free you even though you give me 8.9 million pounds as a bribe. I don't want to be jailed of theft related cases. Most of the people give the bribe to get their work done as soon as possible. However, money making exercise is a dangerous business.

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a freelance writer, blogger and lives in Aweil. He blogs at shoeshinereyes.wordpress.com and can be reached through [email protected]

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Deng Mangok Ayuel and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."