Rent-seeking: The Politics of living in Hotels and Keeping Families in Foreign Lands

Posted: January 23, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël in Ariik Atekdit, Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Economy, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

The Politics of living in Hotels and Keeping Families in Foreign Lands is the reason for our Dying Economy

By Ariik Atekdit Mawien, Gogrial, South Sudan

minister

Sabina Dario Lokolong, deputy minister for humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Nov 2011

January 23, 2018 (SSB) — For years now our politicians live in hotels to satisfy their desires and feel falsely important to the people and the nation they are intending to deceive. For so long the nation and its citizens have become victims to the system they have supported for quite a longer period, even at the time the elites had nothing to spend for life, since the days they were in the bush.

The South Sudanese peasants and cattle keepers took care of the SPLM/A liberators during the bush’s days but when the very liberators arrived in Juba and other cities – the liberators dashed into hotels’ rooms, closed the door behind them to stop us from coming in to give them pieces of advice which could help them to govern the country.

The friendship that flourished among the liberators and local villagers for the last two decades got faded out and elites deserted our villages running way in V8 brand luxurious cars and they became very important persons to approach. The elites put on their VIP cards wearing the English gentlemen coat and ties at the necks, and no more did our peasants and cattle keepers manage to greet them at the hand check of the African style.

Moreover, the very politicians uprooted their citizens from the villages and rented for them expensive apartments in Nairobi, Kampala, Addis Ababa and overseas, undoubtedly using our public money. South Sudan became a land that the families of our leaders continue to see to be less important and of no value to live in and so they migrated out of it and took with them our money for rent, education and health services in foreign lands. These are the reasons why our economy has badly suffered and our hypocrisies try to create an irrelevant hypothesis to define the economic crisis.

The amount of money used by the politicians to comfort their stay in hotels in Juba and their families in foreign lands is on the top suspect of our today’s economic drain. Living in hotels in Juba has become a living style of interest for most of our politicians and senior government workers in South Sudan. A lot of money has been used by the regime to accommodate the selected few people to comfort them using the public resources and the country ended up emptying the whole of our public accounts that should have been used for development and delivery of other public services to the nation.

Since 2005, the government should have constructed government residence blocks for political and public post holders in the country. The government should have also constructed resident quarters for organized forces officers to live in, at the time they are in public assignments. Does the government really know that the public money used for the accommodation of ministers in hotels is a wrong practice that requires questioning? While the politicians do this practice, they have never realized for years that they are fighting against the very comfortable life they want to live in.

In 2013 and now when the elites saw the symptoms of economic ruin, then the government elements begin to rebel or incite the rebellion to kill the innocent South Sudanese and sent their family members to better cities in the world for education, health, and better living conditions. This has been the situation that the country has experienced since the coming in of the liberators to power.

When they came to power our hearts were pumping with happiness that the government of our sons/uncles was coming to make a better change expectedly oppose to the Khartoum style of governance but never did it take long before we realize that they were in the making of the worst situation ever experienced in the 21st century.

And the nation was made to face the economic crisis and a deadly civil war in our time. Peasants and farmers were made to regret the welcoming and inauguration ceremonies that they carried out in symbol of happiness to receive the SPLM/A liberators 13 years ago, yet their farms and huts and agricultural products were set on fire to perish at the orders of some liberators and they continue to cheer around the destruction sites in our villages & urban and semi-urban centres.

The money the regime has used in hotels for public post holders and keeping their families in foreign cities promoted the corruption that should have been blocked since then.  It would have been cheaper if the nation had introduced the best policies of a growing nation. The expensive school fees we are paying for foreign schools would have constructed best standards schools in South Sudanese cities and villages. The payment for treatment in foreign hospitals would have paid well our local doctors and repair and construct the national health facilities across South Sudan.

Our women would have not given birth now without healthcare and our many children would have not starved due to lack of food and get malnourished had the elites spared the money for better use in the country. Our economy would have not broken down if the regime did take the steps they had used in managing our resources. Our economy calls for revival!

Ariik Atekdit holds a bachelor degree in education in bio/chemistry from Upper Nile University. He has published many analytical articles on South Sudan politics.  Atekdit has formerly served as a journalist and a freelancer. He is the author of an unpublished book: ‘Feeling the Pain of Having No Dad.’ He can be reached @ ariqdudic@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël website (SSB) do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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