Categories: Opinion

PETER RIINY: Rebuttal to Ateny Wek Ateny explanation on how Public Money got lost in Central Bank

The Presidential Spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, announceed his own newsspaper in the South Sudan capital Juba on Sept 14, 2014. (FILE PHOTO)

Molana Ateny Wek Ateny, a man known for beating ‘Drum of Truth’ when he was outside government has now established a reputation for beating drum of lies. One such lie is when he claimed that Northern Bar Elgazal State (NBGs) is home where things are done in orderly way, when indeed this is the same state he vilified for its corruption and nepotism in the reign of General Paul Malong Awan Anei as the governor of NBGs. Must we remind Ateny that NBGs was branded the most corrupt state in south Sudan, something that he mentioned in one of his articles when he was beating the Drum of Truth. It is true that Aweil shuns violence but not because government has governed this community well but because of ignorance. However, Molana Ateny must know that I and my colleagues in the bush have refused this collective ignorance and we intent to liberate our people. I asked Ateny Wek earlier this year why he was beating the Drum of Truth, he said he was doing it against Dr. Riek Machar. If this is true, then why was he singling out one person in the government, does it not amount to tribalism? I leave it to him to explain what he meant.

This rebuttal comes against the backdrop of the public money mysteriously lost in the Central Bank and shoddy explanation given by President’s Spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny in an attempt to exonerate President Kiir in this mess. Let us first look at the roles of Central Bank of south Sudan and then we scrutinize the links between the President and the central Bank.

The roles of Central bank of south Sudan are as follow but not exhaustive according to Wikipedia.

  • To function as the central bank of South Sudan.
  • To establish and supervise conventional banking services in South Sudan including licenses to financial institutions according to rules and regulations issued by the Board of Directors.
  • The management of the bank is under the Governor of the Bank of South Sudan, who will manage the conventional banking system in South Sudan according to prevailing rules, regulation and policies.
  • To act as the bank to the Government of South Sudan, as an adviser and agent thereof in monetary and financial affairs.
  • In the discharge of the duties, responsibilities and mandates thereby required and imposed upon it, to exercise the power and supervisory authority so conferred, in a manner consistent with the ordinances and regulations stipulated in the laws that govern the bank.
  • The Bank of South Sudan shall be in charge of supervising and regulating commercial banks in South Sudan.

With these roles mentioned above, why was our president writing directly to central Bank to withdraw money yet rules dictate that budget is done by the Ministry of Finance and pass by the parliament? If there is short fall in the budget, why was the president not asking ministry of finance? Is Central Bank President Kiir’s personal property? How could such huge amount of money be stolen gradually without Central Bank and Ministry of Finance detecting it earlier? The fact that President’s signature was forged to withdraw money in the Central Bank leaves a lot to be desired and it tells us that he has been illegally withdrawing money without finance ministry and parliament knowing, and if Finance ministry is privy of this deal then it is also an accomplice in this theft and Minister of Finance Mr. Deng Athurbei must as well be suspended pending investigation. There are rumors running around that Juba Telegraph owns by Ateny Wek Ateny unduly benefited in this stolen money and that the newspaper received USD 250,000 in this four hundred million USD stolen. If Ateny Wek believes in integrity and transparency, then he must also step aside to allow investigation to take its course. Last year some of these guys stole money in the office of the president, they were suspended and later reinstated to continue working in the office, now they again did what they have perfected most.

I wonder whether Ateny would still blame this mess on Dr. Riek Machar. Is this theft in the heart of president’s office with signature of the President a conspiracy of the opposition? Who knows President Kiir could be aware of this theft but just wanted to use these guys as escape goat for this has been the norm in south Sudan. Good example is what happened in NBGs, after looting the state, General Paul Malong Awan used Garang Kuot and Subrino Majok Majok as escape goat and he jailed them to divert public attention, yet we know who the culprit was. These guys were acting under his orders, so why not go for the big fish? Ateny and his President must admit that they are operating jungle laws and there is no respect for public institutions and laws governing the country.

By Peter Mabior Riiny

NOTE: the opinions expressed herein are entirely for the Author of this article. The Upper Nile Times have no responsibility on the contents published here.

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