August 31, 2013 (WAU) - The governor of South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal has called on the general public to assist him fight corruption, which has crippled development in the country.
- Rizik Zachariah Hassan, Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal State (UN photo)
“Corruption comes in many ways and it is practiced by different group of people. People think corruption is only practiced by the government but it can also be practiced by anybody, including people in rural areas. Chiefs can be corrupt in the way they preside and judge local cases”, said Rizik Zachariah Hassan.
He pledged to resolutely fight against corruption and other misconduct in all manifestations and always preserve the political integrity of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.
“One of the issues we fought decades of war was peace and development. We cannot develop if there is insecurity. We can’t develop if there is no peace. We can’t develop if there is no unity. The people of special interest shouldn’t be allowed to derail our achievements. We must reject their demands because if we do that, we will not be able to live in peace and development”, he says.
He called on the members of his ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) branch office in the state to unite and help him fight corruption as directed by President Salva Kiir.
"All members of the SPLM especially the leading cadres of the Party, must consolidate their ideal and conviction, always put the people above everything else, and exalt the Party’s glorious tradition and fine conduct," he said at a closing meeting with members of the state assembly .
Hassan, a former commissioner for Raja county, was elected governor of the state in 2010 after he fell out with his predecessor, Mark Nyipuoc, leading to his dismissal from the post in 2008.
He won his bid to contest against his predecessor as official nominee of the south-governing party after securing approval by the political bureau; the highest organ in the hierarchical structure of the former rebel movement.
During his 2010 campaign, he outlined a series of programmes with stability, peace through dialogue, peaceful coexistence amongst ethnic groups within and beyond the state, among other as key.
He also pledged to restore unity and tolerance as well as commitment to fight corruption, install democratic system that encourages good governance, straightforwardness, honesty, transparency and accountability.
In his keynote speech to lawmakers who returned from three-month recess, the governor called for public support to help him and his administration collectively fight corruption with determination just like they for fought wars for freedom.
"We must resolutely reject attempts and persuasive acts by special interest groups and resolutely fight against corruption and other misconduct in all manifestations.We must always preserve the political integrity and unswervingly strive for the cause of the Party and the people," he said.
The SPLM, Hassan stressed, remains the core force in the great cause of leading and uniting the people of all ethnic groups to build democratic and prosperous nation.
"We are shouldering the heavy task bestowed by the history and going through the test of the times. We must uphold the principle that the party was founded for the public good and that it exercises state power for the people, supervise our own conduct and run the party with strict discipline, enhance the party’s art of leadership and governance, and strengthen the ability to resist corruption, prevent degeneration and ward off risks," he said.
The governor further called upon all political forces in the state, social groups, ethnic groups, social strata and circles in the nation to unite and closely work with Kiir so that the vision of taking towns to the rural population can be a reality.
"We must always be modest and prudent, defy difficulties and work hard, bury ourselves in work and forge ahead with determination so as to achieve new, greater victory in completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and advancing the democratic ideals and modernization as well as make greater contribution to the state and nation building," he told the state lawmakers.
South Sudan’s Kiir recently told the state governors to work towards strengthening SPLM structures in their respective states, amidst reports that the south-ruling party had largely become unpopular at grassroot levels.