September 1, 2013 (WAU) - The governor of South Sudan’s Warrap state has announced she will restrict visits, including official interactions with her cabinet ministers, directing that none of them seek a meeting or book an appointment with her “unless invited” by herself.
Governor Nyandeng Malek Deliec issued the unanticipated administrative directive amid intense lobbying for political appointments by politicians wanting to serve in her administration.
Malek, who is currently in Juba, is the only female governor in the country. She is expected to return to the state capital Kuacjok on Sunday, following consultations with president Salva Kiir and his deputy, James Wani Igga, over the size and structure of the new cabinet she is expected to form based on a directive issued the president, asking all state governors to reduce the size of their cabinet.
The objective of leaner state cabinets is to help the government pay closer attention to the delivery of basic services, including development projects.
“Things are not easy politically, but we are managing. The governor had decided to restrict visits and interactions with the people. You cannot go to her in the office unless she is the one who had decided to call. This is the new administrative directive and this is what we get when one wants to approach her even on official matters”, a cabinet minister told Sudan Tribune Saturday.
The minister, who did not want to be identified, claimed the governor’s directive was discriminatory and may be an indication that she intends to exclude former cabinet members when she forms her next administration.
He claimed some members were also prevented from briefing the council about ministry issues even during meetings.
“The way she is behaving sends discriminative signals to other cabinet members. Some cabinet ministers like the minister of youth, sports and culture are sometimes interrupted at the cabinet meeting. I remember skipping him when it was his turn to brief the council about activities of his ministry. The governor asked ‘ah, what [do] you want to say? You have nothing to report because you have no activities’ and skipped him”, the minister said on Saturday.
Another minister said it has been more than three months since he has been able to hold one-on-one discussion on issues relating to his ministry and other public matters in the area.
“It is true, we are experiencing difficulties in meeting [with] the governor. It is not easy meeting her these days even when it is something relating to the ministry and other public matters. I can remember being asked to state the reason I wanted to meet the governor by her secretary”, said another minister, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.