Minister Sacked in Corruption Scandal

Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal State, Mark Nypouc, has relived his
Minister of Rural and Physical Infrastructure, Dr. James Henry, from his
duties on charges of corruption and mismanagement of public funds. The
sacked minister has been indicted by the local police and is set to face
corruption charges in court.

Date: 5th February 2007

Wau

In a statement to Khartoum Monitor in Wau, Governor Nypouc said the dismissed minister has squandered a sum of SD14 million earmarked for construction of fourteen boreholes as part of the state's water projects. Governor Nypouc said he received a confidential security report that Dr. Henry withdrew the said amount from the Bank of Southern Sudan and stashed it in his private account number 195 at the Ivory Bank. "On receiving this information, I ordered Mr. Joseph Marco of the state's Legal Affairs to lead a team of auditors to cross check the intelligence report. Their findings established that the minister had actually diverted the water projects' budget to his personal account," Governor Nypouc elaborated. Based on the established facts, Governor Nypouc requested the first VP and President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Lt Gen Salva Kiir, to severe the minister's immunity. "On confirmation of lifting the minister's immunity, I requested him to retrieve the amount within three days but he failed to meet the deadline and as a result he had to face the police," the governor explained.

Dismissal from office or suing of ministers and political post holders on corruption charges through a public note is unprecedented in southern Sudan. Until recently, corrupt ministers were removed and reappointed in a different location. Sudan's Auditor General announces billions of squandered public funds each year in his annual report before the National Assembly, but not a single minister has ever been accused or appeared before a court of law to account for the lost money.

In his key note address at the opening of the second session of the southern Sudan Legislative Assembly in Juba early in April this year, the first Vice President and President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir, affirmed that he "will not tolerate any manifestation of corruption at whatever level of government and by whoever no matter what their status may be," adding that he is committed to "an honest, transparent and accountable government and are determined to take action against anybody who flouts or contravenes this cardinal principle."

Posted in: Governance
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