By Ijoo Bosco
March 20, 2014 (TORIT) – Representatives from Eastern Equatoria’s anti-corruption commission met with youth union members on Thursday amid calls for better cooperation between the two bodies to combat corruption in the state.
- Eastern Equatoria youth president Epone Lolimo said young people were ready to work with the state’s anti-corruption commission (ST)
Commission director Jeremiah Kucjok Gai told Sudan Tribune the aim of the meeting was to raise awareness among youth officials about the body’s efforts to tackle corruption and how they could contribute.
“We just came to meet the youth institution members to help join our effort in [the] fight against corruption in the state,” said Gai.
Limited support at both state and national level means the commission’s work is restricted to the capital, Torit, with some of its members helping fund services out of their own pocket.
Gai has urged the state government and its umbrella institution to boost their support to the commission to help it expand its reach state-wide.
He also called on the youth institution to join hands with the commission to help better coordinate anti-corruption measures.
“Fighting corruption is not a one man work, but it’s a collective effort of all state citizens,” said Gai.
State youth president Epone Lolimo said young people were ready to join the fight against corruption, but said the commission needed to be more open about its investigations and make public the numbers of state personnel it suspects are engaged in corrupt activities.
He said the commission had remained largely silent on the issue, instead referring its findings directly to Juba.
For this reason Lolimo said there was a lack of awareness about anti-corruption measures in the state, with many citizens viewing the commission as ineffectual.
“The state citizens are very much confused by the anti-corruption work within Torit. You can judge for yourselves since its formation we have not heard even one person’s name mentioned [in a] corruption case. Does this mean our state is good and free of corruption, or what?” said Lolimo.
He said the commission needed to be more proactive in raising awareness not only in Torit but also in other counties throughout the state.
Lolimo would like to see the commission and youth representatives work together to draw up a joint mechanism that would help improve the reach of anti-corruption initiatives and better educate the public on the issue.