By Matia Samuel Timatio
The Governor of Western Equatoria State, Alfred Futuyo Karaba suspended his state minister of housing, land and public utilities in the State on Wednesday evening.
The suspension of the minister came after he was accused of selling the ministry’s assets and plots in Yambio Municipality under State order No.06/2022 on the allegation of selling government properties.
In the state order from the governor’s office as seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, it read; “This order may be cited as State order No.6 /2022 for the suspension of Hon Simon Peter Sarawasi, state minister of Housing, land and public utilities and shall come into force upon the date of its signature”.
The charges stated that; “he has sold all the plots of land in Yambio Municipality, he has sold the properties of the state ministry of Housing, Land and Public Utilities, and he has sold all the Electrical equipment”.
The press secretary in the office of the governor Alex Digi confirmed the suspension of the minister.
“The issue here is that the governor learnt about the issue of the land in Yambio. In particular, he found out that there are a lot of places being sold through his data collection, which were being sold by the state minister of housing and public utilities”.
“So, that is why he suspended him so that the governor can call him later to come, sit down with the team which will be formed to verify what happened exactly and what made him to sell all the lands” Alex said.
Alex added that the minister’s suspension will be lifted if he will be found innocent of the allegations.
“When the investigation is done and the minister is not found guilty, the suspension will be lifted and the government is working to deliver service to the community. The government is not working for personal benefits, the properties belong to the community and it should be used in the correct way so that it gets returned to the community through service delivery” Alex explained.
He mentioned that nobody has the rights over government properties but if there is need to sell them, it should be in a legal way.
“What the governor is doing is to try to restore peace because you find that when somebody’s land is sold, it can create conflict and these are some of the issues the governor is working hard to end”.
“The main objective of the governor is peace followed by the development which people on the ground has been seeing it happen although the government has no resource but it has been managing with the little that they get to deliver some small development to the community” Digi stated.
According to the press secretary, a committee is to be formed on Friday 13th May 2022 during the state Council of Ministers to investigate the matter.