“The Finance and Economic Planning Committee of the National Legislative Assembly has proposed that South Sudan should buy a presidential jet to be used by the President, the vice-presidents and senior members of the executive” (…) “South Sudan spends millions of dollars in travel costs for government officials a year. Members of committee said purchasing a jet would curb travel expenditure from the office of the President. The committee added that purchasing a plane would also ensure the “security of the president” is not compromised” (The National Courier, 14.08.2019).
Somewhere along the lines of misuse of power, somewhere the misuse of funds and the lack of transparency bears fruit. Where the Presidential Decrees and total control looses value. In this instance, it is the total disregard of the public and their needs. As the basics are covered by donors, and donor funded organizations, while the state is living lavish on either aid or oil-money.
They are so heavy eating, that they have no trouble, even funnelling money through shady agreements, while crying havoc for the Peace Agreement. Because, no one want to be the bad man and stop that because of some lack of funds. No, everyone will step up for the sake of peace, even if the TGoNU have misused funds. Like buying a Presidential Jet, when the state cannot manage to build roads, schools or even implement the state functions according to the newest peace deal.
“With millions of dollars from oil revenues being funneled to Ashraf Al Cardinal, the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is in danger of collapse due to lack of funds. As provided for in the R-ARCSS implementation matrix, cantonment of opposition forces which was supposed to have started within 30 days has not begun due to lack of funds; the Joint Transitional Security Committee (JTSC), which is a critical component of security arrangements is struggling to even hold meetings and travels to proposed cantonment sites due to lack of funds; demilitarization of civilian centers and collection of weapons that was slated to have been completed within 45 days has not begun due to lack of funds; training for unified forces to serve in the national army, police , security service or protection of VIPs – again a critical prerequisite for the arrival of opposition leaders to Juba- has not begun due to lack of funds. The list is long and, by no means, inexhaustive and if this situation continues until May this year, the hopes of the people of South Sudan for peace will have been terribly dashed. The people have really been patient with their leaders, especially H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit, who recently made a solemn public pledge to bring peace to his people at any cost. And to his credit, the President ordered his Cabinet over a month ago to allocate funds for the implementation of R-ARCSS. This was indeed a commendable move which gave the public a strong reason to hope that their Government was bent on mobilizing local rather than foreign resources to implement R-ARCSS. However, the public have now been surprised, shocked, disappointed and outraged to learn that the financial resources that are said to be unavailable for peace implementation – thereby saving lives of thousands of South Sudanese people- are now being readily and happily availed to one man called Ashraf Al Cardinal” (Peace Observatory Group – ‘R-ARCSS poised to collapse due to lack of funds and Ashraf Al Cardinal’ 10.03.2019).
President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the whole SPLM/A-IG have to be called out for this. The ones claiming to not have funds for peace, but funds for a plane. That is mismanagement at its core. Wastage of public funds and certainly, when its talk of peace and following up on old agreements. Agreements that isn’t that old and soon the deadline is over too.
The state could fix that and at a later junction, when it has spare funds start purchasing planes to the President. To ease his travels, but this is just foolish. The TGoNU and the SPLM/A-IG is mocking its citizens, which have no ability to get their basics delivered by the state. However, their President should live lavish and like a Executive with all the perks. Shouldn’t they just buy him a Gucci bag, Armani suits and Cubano cigars while they’re at it? Peace.