OpEd, Politics

Mr. Salary speaking

My name is Salary, I am defined as a fixed amount of money paid to a worker on a monthly or annual basis. Roughly, the writer of this article funnily defines me as a fixed amount of money that South Sudanese workers receive twice or thrice a year, instead of once a month. Nevertheless, I can be defined in so many ways as far as the context is confined to South Sudan.

Taking into account my first definition as the world follows it, except for countries with deranged systems, I should be given out monthly like it is done to my counterparts in all the neighboring countries. Salaries of Uganda, Kenya, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, DRC, and Sudan are constitutionally healthy, but something is wrong with me here. I am sick and I can’t keep quiet. I must cry for help or inform my brothers in the aforesaid countries to stay alert so that when I die, they may stage a revenge attack on South Sudan.

Salariats in the government payroll spend months waiting for me but I am nowhere to be seen, not because I’m not available but because my concerned authorities have abnormally long hands that reach me before I arrive at the Central Bank. Sometimes I may be turned into what they normally call operational funds and I find myself being scooped in bigger portions contrary to funds for normal office operations.

I realized this unique tactic recently. Merciless authorities can totally consume me, but the less merciful ones can break into a huge business using me within the period I’m waited for by workers so that when I’m given out after five months or so, they are left with what triples me.

What a sinful business! If I am lying, why do specific institutions, especially economy-boosting ones, look much more oilier than others? They have smiley faces in the middle of teary faces. They have protruding bellies in the middle of shrinking bellies. They have working cars in the middle of footing periods. Their children stay in schools in the middle of massive dismissal of children who have not completed their tuition or school fees. They still go for shopping in the middle of window shopping. They buy without asking for the latest prices in the middle of terrible bargaining with sellers.

I can’t completely mention them all. Other workers are better but I pity soldiers. How dare a soldier guard the nation empty-stomached? A salary equivalent to the price for a Kombo dish is delayed for months, and when it comes, it doesn’t come all to allow a worker to breathe fresh air just for one day. I’m upset. Leaders don’t know that my long absence is the cause of unknown gunmanism, divorces, insecurities, GBV cases and other bad practices that hungry persons can commit for survival’s sake.

A few intolerant people become severely traumatized and go mad. One time, I was waited for 7 months and when I came, I came for 3 months. One worker bothered to inquire which months I was specified for, and a leader rudely answered that you may choose which month is good for it. The whole nation laughed but I cried inwardly and wished to have been a person so that I stage a protest. Such an answer, in other countries, leads to a protest or relieve. My long absence in the government has caused NGOs to be delayed for some days.

The word “arrears” has dominated my descriptive page and the describers are not wrong. I wonder when will that time come; that time when a worker receives his/her salary monthly and has his/her yearly plans uninterrupted. I wonder when shall I share the same story with the salaries of Uganda, Kenya, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, DRC, and Sudan. God help me!

Thanks for reading “Sowing the Seed of Truth”.

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