Makuei dismisses TI report ranking S. Sudan most corrupt

By William Madouk

South Sudan has rubbished the latest ranking index by Transparency International (TI) that graded South Sudan as the second most corrupt country in the world after Somalia at the bottom.

The Minister of Information, Michael Makuei termed the report as ‘concocted’ by those who want to divert the attention of the papal visit which according to him is the focus of the world now.

“Such thing should not divert the world from the expected visit of his Holiness Pope Francis. This is another way to divert the attention of the world so as to ignore the visit that we are preparing for now,” Makuei told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper.

Minister Makuei questioned Transparency International’s illegibility and the mechanisms applied to come out with the said result.   

“Those people who write report about us – who is monitoring them? That is rubbish. It (report) is not true, I don’t believe that. What is the mechanism and criteria used for determining such a thing,” he wondered.

Makuei was reacting to the latest ranking index by Transparency International that ranked South Sudan, Syria and Somalia as the most corrupt countries in the globe.

Transparency International, 2022 corruption perceptions index (CPI) place South Sudan and Syria in number 178 out of 180 while Somalia remain at the bottom of index 180 out of 180 countries.

The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories around the world based on their perceived levels of public sector corruption. Countries scoring scales of zero are classified as highly corrupt, and a 100 score earns the position of very lean government.

“The global average remains unchanged for over a decade at just 43 out of 100. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50, while 26 countries have fallen to their lowest scores yet. Despite concerted efforts and hard-won gains by some, 155 countries have made no significant progress against corruption or have declined since 2012,” partly reads the statement.

The investigative report has named Denmark as the least corrupt country globally, followed by Finland and New Zealand, both of which tie at position two.

“Leaders can fight corruption and promote peace all at once. Governments must open up space to include the public in decision-making – from activists and business owners to marginalised communities and young people. In democratic societies, the people can raise their voices to help root out corruption and demand a safer world for us all,” said Transparency International Chief Executive Officer Daniel Eriksson.

In 2021, TI ranked South Sudan the most corrupt country in the world, followed by Syria and Somalia which tied in the second position while Venezuela was in the fourth position.

In the audit, the auditor-general said the government also failed to provide supporting documentation for payments amounting to $468,287.

In September 2020, the US government imposed additional economic sanctions on a company owned or controlled by Sudanese businessman Ashraf Seed Ahmed Al-Cardinal for his role in corruption connected to the South Sudanese government.

In October 2019, Kur Ajing Ater was also sanctioned alongside Al-Cardinal after the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Department (OFAC) accused him of robbing the war-torn country of its critical resources.

In April last year, the United Kingdom sanctioned Al-Cardinal over corruption and involvement in businesses that fuel conflict in South Sudan.

In its latest report, TI says in countries where corruption reigns, the governments are unable to protect their people, while public discontent is more likely to turn into violence.

“This vicious cycle is impacting countries everywhere from South Sudan to Brazil,” TI says.

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