Some of the luxurious vehicles used by government officials. [Gurtong | Waakhe Simon Wudu]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 21 September 2012 [Gurtong] - South Sudanese Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Kosti Manibe told the press that there is a misuse of the government cars by public officials, adding the government may decide to sell the vehicles after investigations.
“We have already a committee in place to register all the V8s that South Sudan acquired since 2005. The idea is to dispose them and preferably those who own them may buy them,” he said.
Manibe said that the government will maintain a small number of vehicles as most of the vehicles are being used for private purposes.
South Sudan government has repeatedly been hardly hit by her citizens of squandering public resources on luxurious items including cars. A high public outcry in recent days hit government over usage of V8s estimated cost at least US $100,000 each despite operating on austerity budget.
Manibe said the maintenance of the cars including land cruisers hardtops is expensive and prior to government decision to operate on austerity measures, there is a need to ensure a maximum utilisation of the public resources.
Most of the cars are being owned by constitutional post holders.
Edmond Yakani, a civil society activist welcomed the move by the minister and agrees that the government spent huge sums of money on cars beside other luxurious items which is not cost effective and developmental in building the nation that is being marred with incredible challenges.
“We feel it is a practical indication of the implementation of the austerity measures. But we need to see that this committee’s work is made public so that the citizens understand what the austerity measures mean,” Yakani said.
He said that it is a clear indication of reducing expenditure of the constitutional post holders. However, he insisted there is need for political will from the top government leadership to effect the implementation of the move.
“Am having fears that unless the top government leadership has the political will to respect the Ministry’s decision, political interference will jeopardise the move,” Yakani said.
Since South Sudan shutdown her oil pipeline, the country faces hard economic crisis with cost of living rising day by day despite austerity measures put in place.
Oil used to contribute to over 90 per cent of the annual budget.