July 21, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The armed opposition faction of the SPLM led by the former vice-president, Riek Machar, has dismissed as unfounded this week’s accusations by South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir who said the rebel leader would face court charges over alleged corruption while in government.
Addressing citizens in the Western Bahr el Ghazal state’s capital Wau last week, president Kiir who ruled South Sudan since 2005 said his former deputy was the one in charge of the region’s former autonomous government while he was busy in Khartoum as first vice president of the whole Sudan before the 2011 split.
He said most of the corruption in South Sudan happened under Machar’s supervision.
Kiir’s press secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny also echoed the claim when he told the Voice of America on Monday that Machar was responsible for corruption “between 2005 and 2010.”
However, Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak dismissed the allegation as unfounded.
He said Kiir had been the president and spent most of his time in South Sudan not in Khartoum as alleged.
He argued that Machar was busy shuttling between Juba and Khartoum for many years negotiating implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) as chairman of the delegation from South Sudan.
“If their accusation is based on who used to stay the most in South Sudan, it is president Salva Kiir,” Dak said.
“He [Kiir] abandoned his office in Khartoum as first vice president of Sudan. He hardly stayed for a week in Khartoum between October 2005 and July 2011. Records can speak volume for themselves,” he explained.
Dak also added that when auditings were also conducted from 2007 Machar’s offices as vice-president and minister of housing and public utilities, respectively, were rated free of corruption.
He said it was the office of the president that had been in the news many times over corruption cases.
The rebel leader’s spokesperson who also used to serve as his press secretary while in government further revealed that when Kiir wrote a letter to 75 senior officials alleged to have stolen over $4 billion, “Dr Riek Machar did not receive a single letter from the president.”
NO SPIRITUAL POWERS
Dak also dismissed allegations by president Kiir in which he also told citizens in Wau that the rebel leader was using spiritual powers to mobilize the Nuer youth to support him and fight the war.
He said the claim was based on mere imaginations, saying the president should have been specific about the type of spiritual powers he was talking about.
“Powers of persuasion are not spiritual,” he said, adding that Machar was using his ability to persuade people.