President Salva Kiir's Remarks During Swearing -in of GOSS Cabinet in Juba,June 23, 2010

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome and congratulate you all for being entrusted with running the affairs of our people.

Should I say muburuk or kafara? This is great honour but it is also a heavy burden on all of us, given the major challenges we have to face together. I hope and pray that we shall all be up to these challenges. For those who did not make it to cabinet this time, I am sure that they will be accommodated somewhere.  There is a lot to do for our people and it requires undivided efforts.

There are three major challenges that we will be confronted with:

Preparations for the referendum and its timely conduct:
The referendum is an undertaking that we shall give undivided attention. The destiny of our people, whatever decision they take, shall be determined on 10/1/2011.  I detailed my directives during my inaugural speech. My colleagues and I in the SPLM leadership shall define very soon the lines of action to be taken by our government with regards to preparations for the referendum. In the meantime our team shall continue with negotiations on the post – referendum arrangements with the NCP.

Security of our people and territorial integrity of our land:
Without security we shall not be able to carry out any of the tasks ahead of us. We shall maintain the territorial integrity of Southern Sudan as defined by the CPA.

We are all aware of the recent acts of lawlessness in some parts of Southern Sudan and also aware of as to who their direct and indirect perpetrators are. With my full support and determination our law enforcement agencies will be beefed up to carry out their duty successfully in order to bring those responsible for such acts to justice.

There should be no compromises when it comes to those proven as law-breakers.  Compromises between the law – enforcers and law – breakers only lead to chaos. It might also amount to back – stabbing our people who voted in their millions to bring us to government.

Delivering the dividends of peace to our people:

I pointed out in my inaugural speech that we had not done in this regard what we should have done and what our people expected us to do.

There were compelling circumstances in the last four years that led to the diversion of resources to meet urgent security needs.

However, that should never deflect our attention from our paramount duty to satisfy our people’s basic needs. That is why I have set targets to be achieved in rural transformation, building of physical infrastructure and social service delivery during my present term in office.

Work ethics and Accountability:
In order to achieve our targets we need a new work ethics and we must cultivate a new culture in the work place.  Reporting at work on time and leaving work on time is a matter of discipline.

In the business of government, there should be no abuse of authority, misuse of public assets and funds and extravagant utilization of resources.

All assets and resources should be used on satisfying the basic needs of our people, rather than being wasted on flamboyant and showy exercises.

I have warned and given orders with regards to frequent travels abroad and I would like to bring to your attention that this time around there will be a clearance process.  The ministers of Cabinet Affairs and in my Office will design a form for travel of all ministers to that effect.

There were times when half of the cabinet was out of the country and this never happens in any government that takes its responsibilities seriously. Weekend travels to the countryside or neighbouring countries on government expense is prohibited.

I therefore call upon the Minister for Cabinet Affairs and the Minister in the Office of the President to see to it that my directives in this regard are implemented fully and forthwith.

Another phenomenon that has to be stopped is the one relating to use of government vehicles: how many vehicles should a minister be entitled to? What type of vehicles should other government officials use or are entitled to use? And what system should we have in place for vehicle maintenance, use and fuel provision? There is no country in the world where vehicles used by the President, ministers and up to the level of directors are equal.  This has to change with immediate effect.

The minister of Finance and Economic Planning and the minister in my Office should give urgent attention to this matter.  This is tantamount to irresponsible use of assets, funds and resources that our poverty – stricken and unemployed citizens do not understand or accept.  Let by gone be by gone but the experiences of the previous government should never be repeated.

Five years are not a long enough period for us to forget the suffering and sacrifices of those noble citizens who paid the heavy price of war, let alone denying them the resources that shall make them live honorably, with their basic needs satisfied.

The other phenomenon relates to the disagreeable practice of turning our ministries into reserves for certain communities depending on where the minister who runs the ministry comes from. This is unconstitutional and unjust.

Our Constitution provides that the civil service “should be broadly representative of the people of Southern Sudan”, it also provides that “focus on merit be maintained”.  That practice has to stop and I call on the Ministers for Cabinet Affairs and Labour, Public Service and Human Resources Development to review service appointments and recommend appropriate actions to stop this malpractice.

There has been observation that members of the Cabinet have not been working together amongst themselves and with members of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly.  I urge you to cooperate with one another at all levels of government.

Our system of government is based on decentralization. That is a matter we fought for during our struggle and achieved for the whole country in the CPA. So the lines of demarcation between GOSS and the States as stipulated in the Constitution must be respected.  Notwithstanding country – wide responsibilities in areas of security, development and integrity in government.

With this in mind, we are duty – bound to ensure, in addition to the over – arching responsibility of keeping Southern Sudan peaceful and out of harm’s way, equitable sharing of resources, fiscal prudence in the use of public funds, devolution of power to local governments and building institutional and human capacity at all levels of government.

To this end Southern Sudan Fiscal and Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission has to wake up from its sleep to ensure that equalization grants are promptly transferred to the appropriate levels of government and that they are properly and transparently expended.

The Southern Sudan Reconstruction and Development Fund is to do what it is envisaged to do by the CPA and the Constitution, especially “raising funds from domestic and external donors and disbursing such funds for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the infra-structure of the South for purposes of returnees and addressing imbalances in regional development”.

Last, but not least I would like to reiterate the concern against corruption. I call upon you all to ensure integrity within institutions of government, transparent fiscal and financial management, public oversight and prudent management of public assets.

I therefore, call upon the Chair of the Anti – Corruption Commission, Minister of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and the Presidential Advisor on Integrity to work out a programme for putting past resolutions against corruption into effect.

Finally, I urge all of us to participate fully in the mobilization of our people for the referendum.  It is time to do business and stop too much unnecessary talk and waste of time.  Hard work and discipline will prove our detractors wrong.

With those few words, Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish you every success in the tasks lying ahead.

Thank you.

 

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