October 25, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, has threatened to dismiss state governors who use public resources to pay luxury hotels instead of remaining with their respective constituencies in the states.
- President Salva Kiir speaks during the inauguration of the new SPLM premises in Juba on 15 November 2013 (Photo Moses Lomayat)
President Kiir, whose administration is facing financial crisis following fall in global oil prices and civil war, also said he will strict movements of governors and would have to issue permission before a governor makes a trip to the capital, Juba.
“If you want to come to Juba, ask for permission from there (your state). If I permit you, then you come. If I don’t permit you, and you come without being given that green light to come, then you are my problem,” said Kiir, speaking to the governors of his controversial 28 states appointed in December 2015.
President Kiir expanded the country’s 10 states to 28 a year ago – a move criticized as violation of the August 2015 peace agreement signed based on the ten states and the economic challenges.
Most governors, however, never spent a night in the new states headquarters due to insecurity since some are under the control of the SPLM in Opposition led by former First Vice President, Riek Machar.
Capitals of Latjor (Nasir), Western Bieh (Fangak) and Eastern Bieh (Akobo) are partly or fully under the control of the forces loyal to Machar. The SPLM-IO have not recognized the 28 states.
President Kiir, however, did not make exemption to governors whose states are under the SPLM-IO and cannot be able to visit their capitals.
“All of you (governors) come to Juba and put up in the hotels for months – using the state resources for hotel bills. I don’t want this to continue,” he said.
“You cannot administer people in your absence. People can best be administered from close presence of the administrators,” he added, while speaking at a swearing ceremony of the governors as state chairpersons for the ruling SPLM party.
All states have their respective ‘coordination offices’ in Juba where some governors operate.
The latest comments from the president came as fighting has been escalating in the country after its resumption in the capital on 8 July.