September 2, 2013 (WAU) - The governor of South Sudan’s Warrap state on Monday denied reports that she had decided to restrict interactions with cabinet ministers, as well as members of the public seeking an appointment.
“The office of the governor is accessible to every citizen of the state as their constitutional right because she is people’s elected governor mandated to assume such public offices. There is no reason to avoid interactions, especially with those whom she bestowed upon them a trust of delivering services at this capacity of state government as ministers”, Joseph Anei Madoor Maluac, who identified himself as the director for public and political affairs, said on Monday.
He was reacting to a report in which some cabinet ministers claimed to have experienced lengthy delays in meeting with the state governor, Nyandeng Malek Deliec.
One cabinet minister claimed that he and some of his colleagues were prevented from accessing the governor, after they were allegedly blocked by an administrative directive restricting visits unless invited.
He further claimed that some members were also prevented from discussing ministry issues even during parliamentary sessions, citing an incident in which the governor skipped the state minister of youth, sports and culture when it was his turn to brief the cabinet, allegedly due to a lack of activities.
The minister, who did not want to be identified, claimed he also had to cancel a meeting with the governor because he was asked to state the reason for seeking the meeting by the governor’s secretary.
Anei could not confirm or deny that some members of the cabinet, including the minister of youth, sports and culture, were prevented from briefing the council about their activities.
However, he argued that under the governor’s leadership, a state cabinet had been assembled that reflected the diversity of all ethnic groups, adding that the current government was well-supported in the various communities.
He claimed reports the governor was restricting official visits were being generated out of fear that some ministers may lose their job once a new leaner cabinet is formed, as was advised by president Salva Kiir.
“There is a fear being generated by the fact that some ministries will be affected by the reduction, so those who feel they will be affected are the ones who are giving these incorrect and unfounded statements which is not acceptable”, he said
In an interview with Sudan Tribune on Monday, Mayik Deng, a native of Tonj South currently living in Wau, denied that all ethnic groups have been represented fairly in the state cabinet and in the advisory positions.
“There is no doubt that governor Nyandeng had tried to assemble her cabinet in a way that represents all the ethnic groups but that did not work”, he said. “As I am talking to you, Bongo has no representative in the cabinet and they are complaining. None of their members [have been] appointed as advisors, so it is not true all the ethnic groups and sections have been represented in the cabinet”, he added.
Malek, who is the only female governor in the country, was recently in Juba for consultations with the president and his deputy, James Wani Igga, but has yet to announce the size and structure of her new cabinet.