By William Madouk Garang
The governor of Western Equatoria State, Lt. Gen. Alfred Futuyo has downplayed claims that soiled his administration with ‘mismanagement’ and cutting 30 percent of civil servants’ wages.
This comes after deputy governor for WES; Kennedy Gaaniko on Saturday accused him of ‘malpractices’, and announced their ‘indefinite withdrawal from active participation in government affairs.
Mr. Gaaniko, who is deputy governor on ticket of SPLM-IG, claimed that the governor has not paid members of the state parliament for the last five months.
The Press secretary in the office of the governor, Alex Daniel Digi said there was no any official order from governor directing minister of finance to deduct from civil servants salaries.
“The state minister of finance is the one responsible for financial transactions unless there is a written order and directive from the governor based on the power granted by the constitution to the ministry of finance,” the statement partly read.
Digi termed the corruption allegations as misleading information made-up by the deputy governor to taint the image of the governor.
“The avaricious officials didn’t mention specific months that have not been paid, of which August salary is now in the process unless there is a separate salary known by the deputy governor,” he noted.
According to Digi, the governor withdrew from cabinet meeting because he was not in mood after several officers were arrested and found guilty of embezzling some money from salary of civil servants.
“The governor gave power to his deputy to handle the council in his absence but surprisingly instead of continuing with the council of ministers, the deputy governor was seen on social media reading press statement”.
Digi alleged that the deputy and his associates intended to enrich themselves with the state resources, asserting that this was not the first accusation they labeled against governor Futuyo.
“I would like to bring to your attention that the press statement was issued by covetous leaders who only want to endow their pockets with state resources and deliver nothing to the community,” the statement said.
He accused the deputy governor and his party members of being the source of insecurity in Western Equatoria state.
“I would like to inform the general public that the deputy governor and his party members who issued the press statement seem to be the source of insecurity in the state,” it continued.
“Because virtually, a year after inter-communal conflict in Tombura between Zande and Balanda, there has been no report of insecurity in the part of the state which means anti-peace elements were within the system and are trying to bring insecurity in the state by all means”.
In a video clip, Mr. Gaaniko said the decision involving all parties signatories to the peace agreement was a response to Futuyo’s withdrawal from council of ministers meeting and suspending the sitting after being accused of mismanagement.
“Following the Withdrawal of Governor Alfred Futuyo from the Government of Western Equatoria State Council of Ministers and his indefinite suspension of the council of ministers’ meeting on Friday the 7th October 2022,
“We the members of the SPLM/IG, SSOA, OPP, FDs and SPLM-IO in the Executive, state Parliament, Independent Commissions and the County Commissioners do here by declare to the public our decision to withdraw our active participation from Western Equatoria State government,” the deputy governor stated earlier.
But, the leaders of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) in Western Equatoria State distanced themselves from a decision where their colleagues from other parties withdrew their participation in the state government.
Press statement written by five members of SSOA, among them Eddy Ukele said: “SSOA has not contributed in whatsoever to the content of the press release.”