OpEd, Politics

Public address on corruption (Part I)

By Tr. Nyak Lam

My humble chiefs, the sub-chiefs, the order community leaders, the company stakeholders, the head teachers of all our schools cheering with us today and the community members, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

Here is your son Nyak Lam, so privileged to host you today on this gorgeous occasion if there is what deserves a million thanks, it is your gathering here today. You’re gathering here today communicates a lot to me about your concern for the well-being of our community. It teaches me about the peace accord we hope for in our society. To promise you, your time here will never go unrewarded. Your smiles will surely bless this occasion. Be welcome and enjoy this revival gathering with me.

Dear chiefs and all the invited guests, see how I am troubled. I am troubled asking questions that perplex me often all the time, again and again. Why is there such a persistent war in our country, today? Why poverty in our country? Why robbing of properties on every corner in our city? Why unknown gunmen? Why rapping of women and young girls in every town in our country? Why grabbing of bags in the main markets and streets in our city?  Why examination malpractices? Why poor quality of work in our schools and in every office in our country? Now ladies and gentlemen I believe I have asked many and many questions I am convinced cannot finish asking the like questions honestly, such many questions must have one-word answers. Who can fail such an answer? The dullest student or pupil if fails will score 99% which I strongly agree the 1% will be one letter missed because of excitement in saying it. Can we shout the answer dear audience? The answer is ‘corruption!’

Dear audience, what definition do you give to corruption? A stepson/stepdaughter nursed by a co-wife will define corruption as that cake his/her stepmother gives to her children without sharing it with all the children. A landowner, whose land has been grabbed by a big man using false documents, will define it so well. A girl who got a scholarship through sexual bribery will give a concrete meaning to it. A qualified job seeker who passed the interviews but later the job was given to a tribe man will satisfy you with the meaning of corruption. Government teachers underpaid will give you a 100% definition of corruption. Many and many other humiliated ones, will give perfect definitions of corruption.

Now, dear honorable members of my community, knowing the true definition of corruption will prove 90%votes against its corruption in the simplest terms refers to any unjust practices in any society. It is taking a deserved right undeserved person you have ten mangoes to divide equally among two children, but you intentionally give eight mangoes to the one too close to you and mangoes to the one you know less. That is corruption! Any selfish act is completely termed as corruption having a wrong perception towards someone or thing and you walk on the road to corruption ignore the right of a person and you are termed as a corrupt person.

Believe me or not, corruption is defined in any language that exists in the world of today. It is a term that everyone defines correctly but acts contrary to his/her definition of it. In all those different languages, corruption means theft. After understanding the meaning of corruption as I have tried hard defining in all those simple terms, what next can we talk about corruption? Does corruption have a negative effect on everyone in our society? Do you realize the pain we get from corrupt practices in our country? Oh yes, if you want to know more, be alert and pay great attention!

Why don’t we have schools in all the villages of our country? Where does the money meant for the development of public sectors go? Yes, of course that went to one pocket, it has gone for self-satisfaction.

Because of corruption, our community lacks schools for our children. Our children are the ones on the streets starving. The worst, we ironically call them street children, as if they were born to live on the streets.

Many of our children are the ones on the street. Many of our children are the ones taken as soldiers to fight those generals whose plans are to bring down the vision of our country. Those children are supposed to pursue primary and secondary education, but are they, used as means of getting rich? Young girls of 15 or 14 of age are sent off for early marriages to satisfy their hungry parents.

Though we have a few private schools in the country, the performance of the learners in the entire country has been very poor. About 80% of the aged teachers, teaching in the schools are senior four leavers and those broke individuals who have failed to get employed for what they studied in the universities. The learners have resorted to cheating in order to pass to the next class. National examination is being licked to satisfy some individual’s self-interest.

The country has many individuals with certificates but no skills and work competency. All those came as a result of corruption.

Before corruption emerged in our country, there had never been a civil war in our country. We had fought for twenty –one years in order to get liberated from the north. Everyone struggled for self-determination. Who could predict what was going to happen next after gaining independence? I believe none of the South Sudanese were fighting for selfish gain. I can never agree that we prayed for such to happen in our country.

After the Sudanese, “they” took the national income as theirs and every one of them was racing for the top leadership. They all wanted things to go to their own tribes and clans. There, the civil war became the immediate outcome. After lighting the fire, they each went to their tribe men for defense. Because of the civil war brought by those corrupt leaders, everyone lives desperately in the country.

One time a man asked why there are high reports of robbery, theft rapping among other evil practices in the country. I thought that question wasn’t a genuine one at all, but I later realized that it was genuine. I have come to learn that all those robbing, stealing, rapping and doing all other ill practices are men employed by some corrupt individuals in order to bring some income for them.

It isn’t easy today to live in the country because of fear of such men. It is worse if you are suspected of having little money in your house; they must labor to get it if you hide it in your cave. Such practices have convinced me and will convince you that they are brought by corruption.

This is the cry of all the citizens in the country. Everyone cries of hunger. Poverty is rated so highly in this country. Where can people earn a living if they can’t work? As we all admit, South Sudan is a country where everyone thinks work to be done is a white-collar job. Many educated individuals can’t think of being self-employed but only wait for a white-collar job.

Being in a family of more than twenty without a job, what can happen when poverty has affected every household in our country?

Why is there no justice in the court of law, in our country, today?  Corruption made it so! Who can be just bribed with the white man’s money? Crime rates are inestimable because protractors don’t face the law. Committing a crime in our country is like taking tea in Konyokonyo market, who fears crime since you don’t face any court sentence? Your money is your way out no matter the degree of the crime, only those unfortunate ones who happen to be from poor families are the ones residing in jail for life. That will be your end, corruption has made the law. Compromise has taken the lawmakers and enforcers.

Why does everyone prefer herbs in a poor country? It is not because of poor quality in our health facilities. Yearly, there has been high record of death rate in the country. All such people die because of poor health in our hospitals the worst death rate recorded is among the children.

Many children die at an early age due to poor eating habits, poor hygiene and sanitation; sickness is the order of the day.

Dear audience who denied the harm corruption brought to the development of health sectors in our country? The few hospitals we own are sponsored by some humanitarian agencies in the country. That is at least why we have a few hospitals, though, with poor services.

Beloved audience, I must declare to you that the list is long. Even if I am given a day or two, I won’t finish mentioning the effects of corruption in our country.

Therefore, dear audience, the unmentioned list of effects remains your home assignment…..

Today’s meeting has come to an end, let us convene again tomorrow at the same time and place.

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