September 23, 2013 (KUACJOK) - The finance minister of Warrap state in South Sudan was unexpectedly stripped of his administrative powers on Monday by the state’s governor over corruption allegations.
- Warrap State in red. Contested Abyei region in pink.
Nyandeng Malek Deliec, South Sudan’s only female state governor, has accused her finance minister, Acuil Akoc Mangar, a close ally of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, of misappropriating public funds.
The Warrap governor issued an administrative order circulated to all spending agencies and heads of institutions barring Mangar from signing off any further government spending or financial documents.
Warrap’s education minister, Andrea Aguer, will act as temporary finance minister “until further notice".
Mangar confirmed on Monday that his office was sealed off by the police, who were apparently acting on the directives of the governor to prevent him from entering the office following a return to the state from leave.
“I was not here. I was away on sick leave where I returned yesterday evening to pick up something from the office before I go to Germany for treatment", said Mangar on Monday.
“I have been given 20 days to go for treatment. So I came to pick something from the office but I have been told that the office has been seized. So I decided to remain in my house. I do not know why they deployed the security forces" he said.
Officials at the finance ministry confirmed that the security presence was to block Mangar from entering the office.
A cabinet minister confirmed that the order was made by the governor because she believed the minister had misappropriated the funds which was meant to purchase vehicles for some county commissioners and new ministers as well as heads of the specialised committees in the state parliament.
A member of the Warrap cabinet, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Sudan Tribune that police were "deployed on the directives of the governor" after she had received reports about alleged corrupt practices. The minister added that they were not "not surprised" the former finance minister had been blocked from entering the office.
Joseph Anei, the director for public relations in the office of governor said the decision was an administrative measure within the jurisdiction of powers of the governor.
“1.7 million South Sudanese pound has been misappropriated. He had misused it. This money was meant to purchase vehicles for use by new county commissioners and ministers but only five vehicles have now been purchased from the money. So there is a general belief that less amount of money was spent to purchase these vehicles,” Anei told Sudan Tribune on Monday.
Simon Deng, an official in the state administration said it was unfortunate such a huge amount has been misused in state, especially considering that some people were recently killed in large scale flooding in many parts of the state.
More than 20 people in Deng’s home county of Gogrial East have remain unaccounted for after flash floods.
“It is unfortunate many people are dying while some people are embezzling funds. Many communities in Gogrial East are completely isolated, no water, no septic, no sewer, we lost every roadway. People don’t yet know fully about homes and lives lost in many communities. This will go on for several days, yet there are people who are misusing the funds”, Deng said on Monday.