October 1, 2013, 2013 (WAU) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir has instructed the country’s anti-graft body to extend its activities to the 10 states, a senior official told Sudan Tribune.
- South Sudan president Salva Kiir (AFP/Nicholas Kamm)
The directive, the official who preferred anonymity said Tuesday, came in the wake of what the president discovered during his recent tour of the Greater Bahr el Ghazal regions.
The move is seen as Kiir’s latest attempt to expand the crackdown on graft, which he says was a threat to the survival and the legitimacy of his governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
Kiir, the source from the presidency said, has vowed to go after anybody, "however powerful or small".
So far, only to a handful of senior officials have been investigated for alleged involvement in corruption since the country’s post-independence era. Recently, Deng Alor Kuol, formerly the cabinet affairs and his finance counterpart, Kosti Manibe Ngai were probed for involvement in the illegal request and transfer of about $8m
The investigation of the two former ministers was the biggest graft probe since the SPLM assumed full control of the country affairs in 2005, as part of a peace deal with Khartoum.
South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 but, despite an estimated $4bn said to have been stolen, no official has been successfully prosecuted for corruption.
The suspension and investigation of Kuol and Ngai appear to indicate that efforts to address corruption may be taken more seriously.
“The president has given full powers to the anti-corruption commission and gave directives to review in details as well as carrying out thorough investigation into allegations of corruption at all levels of government", disclosed the senior official.
The commission will to go to the states and investigate allegation of corruption there, he added.
The official did not, however provide, any details on individuals or specific crimes, but noted cases of widespread graft and abuse of power in the country.
South Sudan is yet to pass the draft Anti-Corruption Bill, which will give the anti-graft body more independence to investigate and prosecute corruption-related cases.