South Sudan: The corrupt elements who are bringing our country down

Posted: January 28, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Justin Deng Deng, Juba, South Sudan

corruption in Juba

Corruption

January 28, 2018 (SSB) — My fellow South Sudanese, Today l am forced again to take my pen and uncover the shaking truth in the national ministry of health. The discussion will solely focus on the corruption practised by Peter Aguek Kon Baak; the director general for Inspection & Surveillance, drugs & food control authority (DFCA).

A man ordained by the president to be the only supreme leader of pharmacists & pharmaceutical entities in South Sudan. Since he was appointed before the nation’s independence, none of the checks & balances authorities has ever put its nose to smell the horror inside that man’s office in DFCA.

To begin, we are all aware that drugs and other few commodities were subsidized by the government and exempted from customs. Pharmaceutical companies were entitled to a letter of credit (the LC sagas) to facilitate equal access to quality and affordable medications. As a weak public servant and in his free-gifted office, this man took advantage of LCs to enrich himself. He could first approve the LC for his own company followed by his friends’ companies and the rest of the companies will enter into bids by percentage.

The higher the percentage that you will pay him the faster he approves your LC and operation license. This led many pharmaceutical companies to adopt the simplest tactics of luring him in and make him a shareholder. Peter Aguek is now a permanent member of five big pharmaceutical companies in Juba–should someone confront or threaten me, I will expose the names of these companies.

Other pharmaceutical companies devised another simple way of winning the favor of the man, who has turned down his people & country and put his interest first, by supplying his pharmacy (Pakor pharmacy, Airport road near Crown hotel). And I swear Peter Aguek has never stood before the wholesale pharmaceutical company to ask the price in order to buy things for his pharmacy. Should a company fails to adopt one of the above-mentioned ways, then it will not survive unexpected closure and high fines (done mainly to foreigners).

Though they are deemed as a normal way of conducting business by some of our officials, bribery & favoritism are unethical and have no room in South Sudan’ public service act and ethical code of conducts; but what can an ordinary citizen like me say if the accountability mechanisms were the first to rest in peace?!!

As such, pharmaceutical companies were and are still selling the medicines at high prices at the expense of our poor citizens and their own blood LC dollars ending up in Peter Aguek’s coffer. No criminal in this world that would judge his friends in crime. Therefore, we are not expecting this gentleman to one day regulate the prices of drugs & other medical supplies.

We really have many things to say about this man but not enough time to cover all today. The second most important malpractice is his refusal to recruit & train pharmaceutical inspectors (supervisors). He recruited only three none pharmacist inspectors for the whole country–can you imagine with me the work volume & quality?  استغفر الله العظيم !! Three none pharmacist inspectors are not enough even for one state leave alone the whole South Sudan.

To salvage the dire medical needs of South Sudanese, honorable minister of health approved the budget for various medical institutes to be established in the country; one of them was the Institute of pharmaceutical technicians (IPT). Mr. Director General sabotaged the approved grading of tutors and opted to pay all of them as part-timers with the rate of 80 SSP per hour (160 SSP per lecture) which makes 640 pounds per month.

Who on earth with the degree or masters in the pharmacy will waste his/her precious time doing that shit?!! For me, I teach for the sake of students who are thirsty for knowledge. I don’t care about their minute mockery salary.

To demonstrate the poor thinking & low reasoning of Mr. Inspector’s corrupt mind; based on the devastating economic crisis, he increased the registration fees for pharmaceutical companies from 10,000 SSP to 140,000 SSP. And to our surprise (the pharmacists), he issued an order that no pharmacist should register a company with more than 10,000 SSP; No consultants and no WHYs!! Have you seen this level of selfishness & self-centeredness coupled to together with corrupt habits?

Is it not an oppression? Look Mr. Director, we are going to react with legal aggression should you not give up tampering with our rights. We know our right. We are just unsure of the existence of the competent law to protect it; should there be one, you are going to take your corrupt nose off our humble affairs.

Fellow citizens, Peter Aguek is one of the most privileged appointees who has been working hard to tarnish the reputation of the unaware top leadership and country as a whole. He is one of the public servants who made it crystal clear to the foreign traders that South Sudanese know nothing like nation building but all what they are after is bribery and get rich quick.

He has practised high-level petty corruption beyond all the measures. For how long are we going to entertain and condone dirty games & public offences. I have refused today to be a doormat & decided to whistle-blow.  I promise to uncover more, before he could sell off my neck to one of their known gun-dogs and call it unknown, if Mr. Director chooses the childish behavior. Should he behave aggressively–Ke bi ya ater baai!! The only best thing that he would do is to put his house in order and do the right thing.

With these few points, the readers will dig deep to proof the insight realities and come out with their own analysis.

To the doubting Thomas and uncle boys, take it very clear that I am not a job-seeker and not after your uncle’s holy throne nor do I have any uncle to support. I am just telling South Sudanese what this man has been doing and how it affects our country negatively.

Here rests the case!!

The author, Justin Deng Deng, studied a bachelor of Pharmacy and is currently studying Masters of Public Administration at Juba University. He can be reached via his email: dengdengdit@ymail.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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