OpEd, Politics

Set a thief to catch a thief

By Malek Arol Dhieu

If a property is stolen from you and you go out in search of a thief, you may not get the thief easily. The easiest way to get a thief is to hire another thief to look for him. The motive behind it is that thieves know themselves. They know who was on duty yesterday and who will be on duty today.

They know where they meet when the thief on duty returns. They know where they hide when they have stolen a property worth retrievable. What a hired thief demands from the owner of the property is anonymity. The owner of the property should make sure the thief he has set to catch the thief who has stolen his property remains covered.

In a country where thieves have been voted into power, the same trick of setting a thief to catch another thief also works. If legislators are thieves, it will be easier to catch a legislator who squanders the funds of the parliament. If executives are thieves, it will be easier to catch an executive who embezzles the money of the civil servants and soldiers.

In a situation, just like it is in South Sudan, where some legislators are appointed as executives, it will be much easier to trace out a thief, even though it is a coordinated theft. Recently, an executive, who is also a legislator, a double-edged thief, was summoned to appear for the legislators to explain the whereabouts of the development funds.

Before the legislators, he could not find a word or two to defend himself. He admitted openly that the funds have been diverted to do what they call special projects. Of course, they fear calling them personal projects and that, they give them a confusing name, special projects. When a thief appears before other thieves who know him from head to toe, he must tell the truth or else he must be held accountable for the theft he was not involved in.

If the money is eaten by an overall thief, the summoned thief should reveal it in order to disentangle himself from the punishment. But the fact remains that the overall thief cannot eat all the money without giving a portion of it to the summoned thief. If the summoned thief is given a Bible now to swear by God’s name that he has never tasted a portion of the misappropriated funds, he will not take an oath.

Now, the development funds have been diverted to develop some other things for which they were not approved, what next? What would the legislators do, given that the funds were diverted and the person responsible for their diversion is supreme? Are legislators going to swallow the case or are they going to summon the Supreme to explain why he diverted the funds for projects that are more special to him than anybody else?

Although the case seems unwinnable, I love the fact that a case of corruption has been discussed in the parliament. I too love the fact that an executive, following a summon, has appeared before the legislators. A number of executives, including the governors, have refused to appear before the parliament.

Some were summoned even twice, but they still refused. This shows that the executives are too big to appear before a very small house called parliament. If it is not the reason that the parliament is dominated by appointed MPs and, not elected ones, would a summon by such a powerhouse be turned down?

The more cases of corruption are brought to attention and left unsolved, the more corruption continues to miniaturise the country. I hold the view that corrupt individuals must be brought to book, tried and punished accordingly. This way, corruption can be reined.


Thanks for reading “Sowing The Seed Of Truth”.

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