By Thon Philip
September 15, 2010 (BOR) – Jonglei state governor Kuol Manyang Juuk has declared the disqualification of public staff recruited during what he calls a “mass employment” period.
Due to a loss government jobs, the Jonglei staff include aged and unqualified workers. This is the second massive screening in Jonglei State under governor Kuol. The first forced retirement was in February 2008.
Governor Kuol announced in 2008 that at least 500,000 Sudanese Pounds was saved monthly following the program.
In August 2010, Jonglei State ministry of public services and labor formed a high level committee to pay July salaries, rather than the usual ministry cashiers. Hundreds of government employees, reported on leave, were found missing during the pay. However, a small fraction were later revealed to be university students on leave with pay.
The state government came under fire from workers opposing the move. Rachael Nyadak Paul, the state minister defended her ministry’s method. She told the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) sponsored Miraya FM, that there is confusion in the ministry and described the government ministries as “charity organizations” where every citizen is entitled to get their salary, irrespective of qualification and service delivery.
Nyadak told the Sudan Tribune that many government employees spend an unnecessary amount of time on leave.
“People are complaining ‘we don’t have roads, we need health services and we have no good schools’ but money is being spent on non-productive staffs,” Nyadak said. 80% of Jonglei State budget is used as salary, she added.
Speaking to thousands of state employees on Wednesday in Bor, Jonglei governor Kuol backed the ministry of public services and labor’s calls for cooperation from from those who might be forced leave.
Kuol revealed today that the government recovered 300,000 Sudanese Pounds from his July 2010 salary which had been siphoned by ministries through ghost workers. The public services and labor committee also unearthed other vices in the ministry staffs’ files such as, employment of staff without appointment date and recruitment of foreigners in positions that were deemed appropriate for citizens. A substantial number of staff in Jonglei ministries do not have school-leaver qualifications but enjoy very high salaries, according to Kuol.
He claims that if the current employment trend continues, Jonglei State will be stuck in poverty and will lack infrastructure development.
Currently, the number of employees is unknown but a public services committee is working on the files of public staff. The committee is checking academic certificates and workers’ age file-by-file, a committee member requesting anonymity told the Sudan Tribune. The source added that results of the committee recommendation will be published in all ministries in two to three weeks time. By that time, all unqualified staffs will be relieved, Kuol says, asking all those involved to comply.
“I’m the authority and have to tell the truth,” Kuol said.
“We recruited our relatives after the war and there is mess employment,” he added.
Kuol gave a long unwritten speech in an attempt to win public support for his controversial screening. He indicated his government is returning safety to many areas of Jonglei State. He explained that road construction, that began here in August 2010, will connect all counties of Jonglei State. and telephone networks now cover many counties in the state.