National, News

Corruption is everywhere- Minister

By Bida Elly David

South Sudan’s Minister of Presidential Affairs has lashed at citizens who baselessly label government officials as being corrupt but accepted that the vice exists everywhere, not only in the country.

Barnaba Marial Benjamin blasted citizens that despite the blames; corruption has never been an activity that started with government officials, rather, it’s everywhere.

“Corruption is everywhere not South Sudan alone. We can only resolve the issue of corruption by having good laws, good police so that those who are corrupt are taken care of legally,” Marial said.

The minister, speaking during a recently concluded three days’ conference on oil and power, in Juba, warned against unfounded accusation on government officials without legal proof.

“Help us the authority. Have capacity without our police, lawyers, our judicial system and that is why we are making amendments in our constitution, so that there is good governance, not corrupt ones,’’ he said.

The minister, however, criticized some citizens of using the term “corruption” as a political weapon to punish those in the authority, stating that it is a passive strategy.

“The few who get out shall be punished through the law. Corruption should not be used as a political weapon to punish a Country as a whole,’’ he warned.

He urged citizens to use the law against any government official suspected to have squandered public resources for self-interest, rather than spoiling one’s reputation.

Marial underscored that not everybody in the government or across the Country is corrupt, stating that others are ethical and just.

“We have a lot of innocent people. Corruption is invisible and you can only get it through good legal system and good governance. Once we have those structures, corruption will be dealt with,’’ he reiterated.

Marial threatened that people who make false utterances should also be responsible to face the law in case a government official accused of the scandal walks free from court.

“You must be responsible for being bad citizens or good citizens. These are all citizens for the government to look after. We don’t need public money to go to the pockets of corrupt ones,’’ he echoed.

However, a report by Transparency International stated that grand corruption is a serious problem cited in South Sudan as officials take advantage of inadequate budget monitoring to divert public funds.

According to the report the Head of the UN Mission to South Sudan called on the international community to help trace and repatriate funds that have been deposited abroad by GOSS officials.

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