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Democratize South Sudan: Tear Down the SPLM, please!

BY: Ayuen Panchol, JUBAAUG. 11/2012, SSN; For democracy, the real democracy “d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y” not just the written, sung or spoken democracy that frequently flies out of our politicians’ mouths, to be realized, enjoyed, seen, smelled, tasted, felt, drunk or even eaten by all the people of the Republic of South Sudan, including the mute, deaf, amputees, blind and the one-eyed, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s top leaders must be incited against each other.

A seed of discord must be sown amongst them now and quickly. Confuse them; Make them poke out each other’s eyes! Let a rain of political teargas canisters rain on their Headquarters at Juba’s Thongpiny area. With watery and itchy eyes, let them grasp for fresh air.

Like what little boys do in preparation for a fight, make them roll up their pants and sleeves to break each other’s jaw politically.

In a plain language, our educated uncles and aunts describe Democracy as a regime where the rule is determined by the people. A democratic government is a government for the People by the People and of the people, meaning that the people run the government and the government is made to protect the people.

Now be sincere to yourself and your country, does South Sudan fit in the above description? Is the government democratic?

On this planet earth, every child is born into some screwed up group and it is up to him or her to fight his or her way out of it or remain loyal, depending on the mindset and level of intellectuality, both natural and academic or even the borrowed brains, he or she attained during his or her transition from childhood to adulthood.

With my father being a member of SPLM/A Battalion 105 aka Ashara-kamsa or Koriom, and my mother pregnant with me during the civil war in the late eighties, I was automatically born into the SPLM. That means I am an SPLM by birth. And since none of the opposition parties has what it takes to win my admiration, and as a good citizen, I have only two things to do and they are, one, to remain in the SPLM and two, to fight it from within. And here goes my bullet.

Let me begin with the word that I loathe the most – sycophancy, a word beautifully tattooed on many faces in the country. You need an extra eye to see the tattoo though. A sycophant is a servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.

That’s it. The ruling SPLM party is a sycophant-fortified city. Back in the day, in the bush, sycophancy was a necessity. It was an air, a ticket for survival. This was because the movement’s leadership was debatably tyrannical, militaristic, and vampiric. It had no time to play with dissidents. It was zero-tolerant to criticism.

Those who dared object to any decision made by the Late John Garang and seconded by his loyalists were frowned at and frog-marched to frog-ponds for punitive drowning. Some rot in dungeons.

On the battle grounds, hardliners were ‘shot in the back of their heads’ after they compulsorily led their respective infantries to frontlines. You can put that together.

The SPLM members who are actually the liberators, the ruling elite or even the gods of life are suffering from two diseases, chronic ones: highly exaggerated sycophancy and empty loyal-ness. The two diseases are viral and hereditary and they are the root cause of the irresoluteness in the government, the very reason it is weak-kneed.

Being loyal is not bad. But the saddest part of it is that SPLM loyalists got addicted to their role until they transformed into sycophants.

Inarguably, the country is in the pocket of a cultish group of the much-hyped influential figures, namely: Salva Kiir, Riek Machar, Wani Igga, Pagan Amum, Kuol Manyang, Rebecca Nyandeng, Hoth Mai, Gier Chuang plus some underpublicized souls, most of whom are wealthy businesspeople. They are all SPLM.

What they agree on is final, regardless of its potential impact on the common man. What they do, or fail to do, unveils their real faces. It indicates the exactitude of their unspoken intentions – to rid the country of the poor, which make up to 70 percent of the total population. That’s why they hardly criticize each other publicly.

They are all indebted to each other. Since I woke up from the teenage coma a couple of years ago, I have never heard or read any of them engaging each other in a decent disagreement over any national issue in the media.

The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan which was brought to existence by some of the clique’s learned members prohibits them from dealing in any profit-making projects, a trashy provision they seemingly smilingly dust off their shoulders. It decrees that:

“The President, Vice President, Presidential Advisors, Ministers, and Deputy Ministers of the National Government, Governors, state Advisors, state Ministers, and other constitutional office holders shall, during their tenure of office, neither practice any private profession, transact commercial business, nor receive remuneration or accept employment of any kind from any source other than the National Government or a state government as the case may be.”

Who amongst the senior civil servants is not running a commercial business, in or outside the country or both? The person who made that a law wasn’t foolish. He knew what it is like to mix civil service with personal business programs. When you’re a businessman, honesty flies out through the roof. You become vulnerable to cheating. Pillage becomes your hobby.

In February this year, a dubious written order exempting Vivacell, the largest mobile telephone company, from paying taxes for a period of about ten years got leaked:

“….the licensor hereby ensures to the licensee that the license is granted tax exemptions for a period of ten years at least, such tax exemption include custom duties, income taxes, sale taxes, etc. or any other taxes which may be imposed in the near future such as Value Added Taxes and the Licensor undertakes to indemnify the license in full in that respect. As such, the excise tax is not applicable on Vivacell.”

Why would the government free such an income generating company from taxes? Who owns Vivacell anyway? Is he an ordinary businessman or a senior government official, a South Sudanese or a foreign national?

On Wednesday, the Finance minister, after being fried, roasted and tossed around by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee over misappropriated millions of dollars he disbursed to some company, rightfully snitched on His Excellency:

“Yes, the money was disbursed, no contract agreement, the disbursement was based on the strength of the letter of H.E the President,” 

Very freaking unbelievable!! Did the President actually sign that paper himself or someone forged his signature? Or did someone lure the old man into such a self-degrading act?

In November 2008, a Lebanese paper carried a story about high-profiled SPLA generals on a visit to Beirut. The Generals, who are currently holding ministerial positions in the government, went to check out the progress of their 25 companies that they had created some years back. Beirut Business Weekly quoted a Lebanese official as saying:

“This significant visit will definitely help bring the two trading partners businessmen closer and also help strengthen the trading ties between Lebanese Businessmen and SPLA generals… Lebanese foreign trade with SPLA reached US 11.085 million in 2006 to 2007. There are 25 SPLA companies operating in Beirut and are registered with the Chamber.”

Are those companies public or private? Ain’t Lebanon the pit latrine where the SPLA soldiers’ salaries were intentionally dumped into, forcing the freedom fighters to become herbivorous, mango and grass eaters? 

If SPLM wasn’t a group of Freemasons, who among them would need a degree in rocket sciences in order to see the deliberate violations of the law by his or her colleagues?

If the SPLM wasn’t an acephalous organization of hardcore official criminals whose members find pleasure in crimes they do without fear of rebuke and severe punishment, who among them would hesitate to condemn the crimes committed by his colleagues; crimes that crippled and continue to cripple the young nation and its citizens?

Unless an internal democratic war erupts within my beloved party, the SPLM, never shall the country get democratic. I don’t have an idea what would cause such a war but I am very hopeful that it will happen. If it does break out, each influential official with presidential aspirations will civilly walk away and form his or her own political party with a manifesto, aimed at attracting all South Sudanese, despite tribal marks, height, weight, belly-size and et cetera.Ayeun Panchol is producer of Sudan Radio Service, Juba

email: payuen@sudanradio.org

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

 

‘Tear down the SPLM’: Will South Sudanese now respond?

BY: ElHag Paul, SOUTH SUDAN
AUG. 27/2012, SSN; Ayuen Panchol’s call for the democratization of RSS and the tearing down of SPLM is highly welcome.  Though it is reasonable, desirable and absolutely an essential suggestion to end the dangerous and gradual shift of RSS into a one-party state, sycophants such as Isaiah Abraham whose main interest is to promote tribalism and corruption have not taken it well. 

Isaiah Abraham is all over the place exerting unnecessary energy to shoot down Ayuen Panchol’s noble call to the ground with nothing but weasel words.  This character who endlessly contradicts himself in his prolific writings is not worth paying attention to. 

At one point he is a staunch supporter of president Kiir and at another point he is vehemently against the president calling for his resignation or overthrow.  Then within a short period he would be back praising president Kiir and asking the people to rally behind him.  Not taking long he would be back to his faithful support to Dr Riek as an alternative to president Kiir. 

When he is in this mode, he advocates for unity of the Nuer and Jieng against all the other tribes of South Sudan to ensure power remains with the two groups.  But for no good reason he would switch to lambasting the Nuer as violent people and should not be trusted with power. 

He always forcefully without shame argues in the face of naked evidence that SPLM is not a failure.  http://www.southsudannation.com/totearsplmbadidea%20isaiahabram%2078.htm What type of a character is this Isaiah Abraham? Even the term ‘political prostitute’ would not suffice to describe him. 

His writings when analyzed reveal a person lacking integrity, values and credible ideology.  He appears to have no clue of what is good for the country.  He epitomizes the Oyee party – a confused 20th century organization without a credible ideology ruling the country.  Their Bible was the concept of New Sudan.  They shouted loud that they found a panacea for the country. 

Ironically, in the then liberated territory under their control they could not even implement the concept of New Sudan.  Life in the so-called liberated areas was devoid of law and order.  Raping, looting, killings etc was the order of the day.  What they produced was worst than the system they were fighting in the Old Sudan. 

This project having been exposed by the poor behavior of SPLM/A as empty was rejected by South Sudanese on 15th January 2011 when they chose to secede.  In effect SPLM was stripped of its only instrument that allowed it to sell itself locally, regionally and internationally. 

Since the death of this ideology of New Sudan the organization has remained without any ideology or vision for running the country now.  Ask any Oyee member what they stand for and what programs are they offering the country, you would be surprised to hear the err err err err …the vision eh   the chairman eh…you know ehhhhhhhhhh……….like a child caught out in a mischievous act without explanation.  Hence the chaos in the Republic of South Sudan.

Which brings us to the prophetic words of Ayuen Panchol, ‘Democratise South Sudan: Tear Down SPLM, please!’  Isaiah Abraham may fret, whine, whinge and psychotically strive to distract people’s attention from Ayuen Panchol’s clearly thought out solution to our country.  But this will not work. 

People are seeing the colossal failures of the Oyee party on daily basis.  Its leaders are mercilessly squirreling away the resources of the country to foreign countries for safe keeping for themselves. http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/5776 They are irresponsibly sending soldiers to die in unnecessary wars like the Panthou war.  They are failing to protect the interest of RSS in negotiations with the Sudan.  They are constantly ceding land to the Sudan.  They have antagonized the whole world and turned the country to an object of hate. 

They have failed to provide services be it health, education, housing, creation of jobs etc and mismanaging the country.  They drove the country into a status of a failed state. 

The president is the only one amongst his equals in the world to be known as a lair.  Mr Gerard Prunier, a former senior GoSS’ advisor described the rulers of RSS or should I say SPLM leadership as “idiots ……. rotten to the core”.  With such damning comment, can anyone doubt Ayuen Panchol’s call really? To try to pretend like Isaiah Abraham that SPLM is doing well in power is tantamount to taking the people for fools.  This is delusions of grandeur and it is best if he is left alone in that quasi-psychotic state to delude himself.

True South Sudanese like Ayuen Panchol and Ayeng Jacqueline Ajak who expressed her view in “Let’s try to reform our people. A Dinka woman’s point of view on Madi land issue” published in February 2009 by South Sudan Nation are leading the way in the Jieng community to do the right thing for the country.  South Sudanese should stand up with them.  They are caring of the country and its people.  These are individuals who have demonstrated their human values.  They say things as they are.  If South Sudan had the majority of its population with the likes of Ayeng and Ayuen, the country today would be a different place to live in and Oyee would have been history. 

SPLM Oyee has no mandate to govern South Sudan.  They imposed themselves on the people fraudulently.  The mandate that they got through the rigged elections of April 2010 technically expired with the break up of the Sudan into two countries on 9th July 2011. 

However, shamelessly they cobbled together a shoddy constitution claiming that the expired mandate gave them the right to continue ruling the country for another five years. How can a mandate obtained in a dissolved country become the basis for ruling in a brand new country?  This made no sense and still makes no sense now but SPLM Oyee is abusing the SPLA to maintain itself in power. 

Instead of SPLA being the national army it has been reduced to a party militia.  The refusal of the ruling party to legally outlaw the use of the name SPLA from being used on the army as demanded by the shoddy constitution serves to psychologically keep the people in check. 

The message is this: SPLM and SPLA are one and inseparable.  If you do not want SPLM it means that you do not want SPLA and therefore if you do not want SPLA you are an enemy and so both SPLM and SPLA are going to fight you.  So, if you do not want SPLM in power, SPLA is going to fight you to maintain SPLM in power.  This is a strong psychological disabler and it is the tragedy that RSS is locked into. 

Where on this earth do you find a national army and a political party as interchangeable?  It is only in South Sudan and this is an abuse of the institution of defense by the Oyee party.  This arrangement should not be entertained because eventually it will lead into serious rebellions and destruction of the country.  No party should have militia. Period.  Only the state should have the monopoly of force and not anybody else.

Ayuen Panchol has correctly diagnosed SPLM’s continuation in power and through this power its abuse of state institutions and resources as the main obstacles to development and progress in RSS.  SPLM remains a cancer in the politics of RSS and its continued running of the country is a sure way of sinking RSS and all its people.  In this light Ayuen Panchol should be taken seriously. 

He provides a bold prescription as a way forward.  Being a child of SPLM – someone born to SPLM/A parents during the struggle and grew up in the bush and ended up as a player in the struggle gives him immaculate credentials to speak about SPLM as an insider.  His knowledge of SPLM/A can not just be brushed aside.  The very blood that keeps Ayuen Panchol alive is made of SPLM/A material.  His DNA is SPLM/A. 

So if Ayuen Panchol now says with confidence that the SPLM Oyee party must be torn down to give room for democracy in RSS, then this is worth taking seriously.  The young man has envisioned a prosperous South Sudan without the Oyee party.  Those Doubting Thomases’ in the Oyee party should wake up and listen to him.  They need to do some soul searching on this issue.  It is inconceivable that Ayuen Panchol could have called for the slicing of his party if he had not reached the conclusion that RSS is in danger of being destroyed by the Oyee machine.

The question then is: how can the Oyee machine be torn down?  The simplest but complicated answer is for its dissatisfied members to vote with their feet and join other parties.  This is not likely to happen for two reasons. 

First as a tribal organization of gangs (please see http://www.southsudannation.com/thefirstannivofindep%20elhagpaul%2078.htm, the majority who make up the bulk of the party are not literate and they do not have the skills to read the situation correctly as Ayuen Panchol has done.  Deserting SPLM means bringing down SPLM.  To them this is seen as self destruction.  They are unable to see the big picture which is a well governed country for the good of everyone.  People in this category include Isaiah Abraham who is prepared to see the country sink as long as SPLM is on the saddle regardless of its incompetence and abuses of power. 

The second problem lies with the opportunists – call them ‘eaters’.  This is the worst group society can have.  They have no allegiance to anybody but their tummies.  These lost souls seem to have no idea why they are on this planet.  As beneficiaries of the corruption they will continue to support the system until they are sure of its demise before they switch to side with the strong to continue on with their opportunism. 

Examples abound.  Think of those NCPs who devoted their lives under Bashir to fight the SPLM/A but soon after independence quickly wore the SPLM garment even though it is soiled and stinks.

This leaves us with members of the Oyee party who do not hail from the ruling tribe.  This group is vital if the Oyee machine is to be torn apart as prescribed by Ayuen Panchol.  They should vote with their feet to join other parties.  Their joining of those parties must not be conditioned on tribe but rather on convergence of ideology and policies.  They need to scrutinize the ideology and policies of the party they wish to join.  If such party meets their aspiration then let them join it regardless of who the leader of that party is. 

They must look at the personality of the person and not the outward characteristics of social groupings.  It is that thing inside us (moral conscious) which makes us humans that matters and not the social group we belong to.  It is that thing that makes us emphasize and feel the pain of others regardless of who they are. 

It is that thing that gave us the feeling of disgust when Deng Athuai Mawir was abused that matters.  It is that thing that revolted us when people in Warrap, Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states were starving to death from famine that matters.  And it is this very thing that also allows us to forge friendships and relationships across the board based on hobbies, ideologies etc. 

What I mean here is that let us search for parties with good ideologies and skilful humane leaders who value humanity and the well being of all regardless of tribe.  Let the social contract we have entered into with the creation of the Republic of South Sudan in the form of constitution and the law be the dispenser of justice and fairness to all instead of tribal bigotry as is the case now.   

If we put our faith in the constitution and operationalise it as it should, then it should protect each and everyone of us thus eliminating fear and the need to seek clan or tribal safeguards and this would be the first step towards busting tribalism.

Further way of tearing down the Oyee party is for all of us to demand for a formation of interim government of national unity involving all the stake holders in South Sudan.  The main function of this government should be to: 1) draft a truly democratic constitution which is not skewed to support one party or to pave the way for a one party state as now being done by the Oyee party.  2) arrange for credible free and fair elections to produce a legitimate government of South Sudan.

The Oyee party claims that it is a democratic government, but as you can see this is not the case.  A democratic government is a government that comes to power through the ballot box.  The Oyee party did not come to power through the vote; it rather imposed itself on the people waving SPLA as its militia to browbeat any dissenter into line.  Its working module is totally divergent from the principle of democracy.  In a democracy the separation of powers is clear and genuine. 

It is not a matter of forcing some shoddy constitution enshrining few aspects of democracy and then singing about it as a democracy.  No Sirs!  That is not democracy.  That is totalitarianism wrapped in democratic foil.  In a democracy the separation of powers are implementable and are seen to work. 

Let us look now at the separation of power in GoSS.  Theoretically as in the shoddy constitution there is the executive, then the legislature and judiciary.  Each of these is supposedly to be independent and powerful enough to call any of the others to account.  If the president abuses the constitution then the parliament can hold him/her to account.  If the parliament legislates contrary to the constitution the judiciary is to arbitrate on it to ensure the constitution is respected.  If the courts abuse their powers, the appeal process in the Supreme Court can be invoked or parliament can intervene to right the wrong and so this is how the government is supposed to function. 

 
However, in GoSS, the shoddy constitution though enshrines these principles it does not implement it because the executive (the ruling Oyee party) is behaving roguishly as if it is still in the bush.  They violate everything in their own constitution to do what they want.  Take for example, the president for no good reasons awards 3 million dollars to a company without any contractual agreement for services.  Nobody knows why the money is released and to whose benefit.  It is doubtful whether this company is even registered in the country.  The parliament instead of carrying out vigorous investigation ‘dances around’ the issue in fear of the president (Laila Lokosang 2012).  The reason being the president if angered can dissolve the parliament at will as per constitution and appoint new cronies.  The empowerment of the president to a status of king by the shoddy constitution has hugely damaged and curtailed healthy functioning of state machinery.  Turning to the judiciary, this body is to say the least hopeless.  It is packed to a large extent by unqualified tribal barons whose function is to service the wheels of tribalism and corruption.  A good example of the hopelessness of this body can be seen in how the case of Arthur Akuen versus Pagan Amum concerning corruption was handled.  The case was used to hash corruption and chasten freedom of speech and press.  There are numerous examples that can be drawn to prove beyond doubt that there is no democracy in RSS.  Now, this is only on the issue of separation of powers.  If we go deeper into the important aspects of democracy such as freedom of association, freedom of movement, multiparty system, freedom of press, freedom of speech, and right of the individual the examples that can be drawn in South Sudan are horrifying to mention.  .President Kiir and his Oyee ruling party have demeaned the institutions of governance in the country.  That can not be right because South Sudan has the people to manage that country efficiently to world standard.   Unfortunately Oyee has driven the country already to a status of a failed state because the state mechanisms that are supposed to provide checks and balances have all been disabled deliberately to allow tribalism and corruption to flourish to enrich the Oyee party fat cats unlawfully. 

In short, president Kiir and the Oyee ruling party are not only dictators in power unto themselves, but destroyers of the state. 

Oyee is a disaster and as Ayuen Panchol has rightly said, let us tear it down.  In this 21st century it is an affront to have an organization that mirrors 20th century organization such as the Dirge regime (that ruled Mengistu’s Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991) ruling South Sudan. 

Ayuen Panchol has thrown down the gauntlet.  Will South Sudanese now search their souls and respond with dignity to safeguard their country and humanity from being trashed by Oyee party. 

 
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
 
Elhag Paul, RSS; elhagpaul@aol.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

Why Juba shouldn’t be a National Capital for many reasons

BY: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, UGANDA
AUG. 18/2012, SSN; Dear readers, I am actually writing in response to Hon. Luka Biong Deng, concerning his article titled; “Why Juba should continue to be a national capital of the new nation.” Surely, Hon. Luka has said lot of things here but some of them contain none other than untrue arguments because people of South Sudan are absolutely expecting tangible change but not just matter of continuous loggerhead over non-essential things. I say so because Juba was meant to be national capital and it should remain a national capital but not a state capital, which is the contradiction between Central Equatoria Communities, particularly the communities who own Juba e.g Bari.
Wrong ideas are never condoned in intellectual world, however, it is like what is happening concerning the University of Juba, for example, whereby particular people based it as a State University instead of being a national institution. This example also exactly support my next arguments against that article in particular.
We should work for the future but not for chance of playing negative political showground about national institutions. Therefore, Juba is being taken as a state capital instead of regarding it a national capital city. When you hear any gunshot, that could be the problem of land, when are we going to stop fighting for lands? 
Hon. Biong, I think solution is to shift the capital!
South Sudanese in particular did not expect such nasty behaviors concerning national capital of the new nation, South Sudan.  If I say, that people around Juba, those who are owners of Juba have never recognized the importance of naming Juba a national capital city.However this has brought up lot of problems which resulted in too many criminal activities amongst tribes of South Sudan. We anticipate Juba as a capital city which belongs to nobody but not few who claim and always swear of some specific tribes who dominated and grabbed lands.
Once down the line, the government of Central Equatoria State was told to shift their centre to any other side, which is either Yei, Lainya or any other strategic place; the answer was nothing less than a big No.
The Central government South Sudan has taken decision since it is the government of all people and wants to care for all of us.
Ramciel as I write this article is the next new national capital city of South Sudan and nobody should manage to obstruct this idea. This is something so implicit, and even though it happens through referendum, it will remain positive due to the fact that it is a desire of the majority.
I hope after this article. Mr. Luka Biong will remain alone with some few who thought negatively for that matter.
I would like to say that shifting a national capital is vital because people know too that Ramciel might be having more problems but not to the extent , whereby people feel tetchy against  particular tribes, who are part of greater nation South Sudan. Mr. Luka Biong can’t tell general public that capital vicinity as per we talk about Juba, should be controlled by that particular community that owned it. This is what is happening now.
But what do  you think will prevent government of South Sudan from executing  and planning a feasible shift of the capital city to any other convenient area because the struggle for the freedom, which all Southerners did heartedly with full patriotism wants to shrink.
I know very well that relocation of capital city is not to the interest of all people but major desire it because they have nothing to remain in Juba but few find it unproductive due to lot of resources they have used expecting Juba, to continue a capital but the communities restricted it and hence prevent capital from booming ahead.  This is majority interest vs minority nosiness.
I would like to say too to people of South Sudan that Ramciel will be better because; the land of Ramciel is situated in centre between Greater Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bhar El Ghazal regions; so it will have that specified hospitality because they will both feel proud that land partly belongs to all.
Also, I hope the same spirit of Dinka community will remain in dignified recognition. For those who may deny this statement should not ask me but they should wait and see how progressive and prosperous will new national capital of South Sudan become!
Dinka and Nuer communities will never come into wrong view again as land robbers as it is the case going on in Juba now. Hence Dinka community will never dare tarnish the idea generated by South Sudanese to make their land the capital.
These people of Ramciel will seriously know the importance of making that part of greater jungle, the capital of South Sudan and also people of South Sudan have never been allowed in Juba as a national capital to extent freely per the law of this nation. So, the country capital city should be developing as per well planned conduit and city which is regarded for the people and it belongs to all people of this country.
Now, why should we stick to community capital city? I hope Hon. Luka knows every well the dirty political development happening always here.
When I read and ponder over Biong’s article, it reveals nothing but struggling to make non important ideologies to better ones. I see, the government of South Sudan decided and took this bona-fide decision because it requires people of this nation to participate equally and do whatever possible to realize their potential.
For those who are often crying for shifting capital might be having hidden special interest that is not related to nation building but personal, however they are fewer than decisive population of this new nation who desire new capital city; because they would like something better than this.
My brother, Luka may also know that working on capital without plans, made some other cities exist in mess and important example is Kampala of Uganda. I am afraid to say this but fact. It is better to decide too early that it becomes too late like what had happened in afore-said city.
Does it mean that having buried our great leader, Dr. Garang’s body in Juba prevent this nation from shifting capital if the government met some unfavorable obstacles?  It is obvious that Juba is going to remain one of our ten states and it is too our important national town or a city and a part of South Sudan.
What I know so far, Juba will continue to be industrial and commercial town due to its proximity to both bordering States being Kenya, Uganda and DRC. Congo; even though I left Ethiopia in the eastern side not mentioned.
Finally, my brother, Biong also wants to forget slogan of our late visionary leader Dr. John Garang which says, taking towns to people is better than taking people to towns and that was his number one ideology.  If Mr. Biong does remember; why should you oppose the idea of taking town to the people? Hitherto, Ramciel is accepted because majority shouldn’t be stymied for the chances of few. Thanks to the National Assembly and Council of Members for putting this idea viable.
Writer is  called Chier Akueny Anyithiec,  South Sudanese concerned Citizen, and Agri-Business Graduate, now a teaching Assistant at South Sudan Christian University, in department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  Can be reached at chieryako@yahoo.com.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

 

Unbearable Human Rights Abuses in South Sudan

By Michael Ayuen Kuany, USA

AUG. 19/2012, SSN; My country, the Republic of South Sudan, is suffering from chronic depression over the killings of their own citizens. The liberation process of South Sudan had different fronts: physical warfare, international diplomatic engagement, and civil society advocacy. All of these led to the creation of this new country.

The 21 year-civil war between the Sudan armed forces and the Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) had paramount contributions of the grassroots from both sides. This article examines human rights abuses against civilians, the disarmament campaign in Jonglei and discrimination against the Diasporas.

Human Rights Abuse in South Sudan:

South Sudan was granted self-autonomy under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with the Sudanese government for the period of six years before votes for independence could be cast in 2011. Regardless of this beautiful opportunity for South Sudanese to have full custody of their own internal affairs, citizens remain in fear.

Today the universal idea of freedom for which the South Sudanese have been fighting for is still a dream for them. Citizens are arrested and killed for expressing their views on whether our country is heading in the right direction.

I have lived in South Sudan’s capital of Juba and I have witnessed how civilians are being treated. There are no legal procedures being followed and any punishment for those found to have committed the crime is not defined by law. It is based on how politically connected you are. What makes our current leadership in Juba different from the government in Khartoum that used to deny us our rights?

Most of the crimes being committed in the Republic of South Sudan today are being committed by law enforcement agents and the government elites (those handling big positions in the government and in the military).

A democracy must respect all public opinions and worldviews. It is important for South Sudan to create a positive image on the world stage as it galvanizes international support. Every nation stands on its own records and it is clear that South Sudan has failed its first test as a country. It has failed in the respect that many human rights violations have occurred in this first half of 2012.

On many occasions citizens are arrested for voicing their own views. Early in 2012, Dr. James Okuk, a noted writer, was taken into custody by security agents for his writing against corruption within the new government. He was arrested with no legal charges made against him. He was only released because of public outcry.

Deng Monydit, another noted writer, was arrested in regards to an article he wrote regarding the marriage of the President’s daughter to an Ethiopian national. Whether one agrees with Mr. Monydit on his stance in the article or not, is irrelevant, he is entitled to his opinion as a South Sudanese citizen.

Disarmament Campaign in Jonglei:

Since the peace deal was signed in 2005, Jonglei state has found itself enmeshed in tribal warfare. Thousands of lives have been lost and hundreds of thousands of animals have been reported stolen. In addition to this, a large number of children have been abducted from their families. Little independent research has been conducted but there is evidence that the government of Sudan has been supporting local militias to destabilize South Sudan.

In March 2012, the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir issued an executive order to deploy 15,000 combat forces to collect local arms that were in the hands of civilians. This move by the president was received with mixed reactions. Some people supported the idea to conduct statewide disarmament and some people rejected the plan claiming it would leave them with no protection when others are not disarmed.

This executive order was put in place all over Jonglei state at the same time. There are indications that improvements have been made. According to the Governor of Jonglei state, Kuol Manyang Juuk, violence has been reduced by 90% which is a very big achievement.

However, since the inception of the disarmament campaign, there have been issues of torture, rape and killing by the SPLA forces. A woman was raped by two SPLA soldiers in Kolnyang Payam in Bor County. The victim was later notified that the culprits were arrested and they will face justice. But there is no trial scheduled and it is uncertain that the perpetrators are in jail. How can justice be served when the victims are not involved?

In Twic East and Bor counties respectively, many people have experienced torture in the hands of the SPLA. The SPLA were given mandates to collect all illegal arms from the people. Not everybody in South Sudan has access to weapons but when some individuals told the SPLA that they didn’t have any arms, they were beaten and tortured. It is not known whether there were instructions given to the SPLA on how to deal with those who didn’t have weapons. All of these issues have been raised and no action has been taken by authorities in charge.

In July 2012 when the nation was celebrating the one year anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, the diaspora were mourning the death of their brother, Mayol Kuch who died in the hands of the SPLA in Bor, South Sudan, while he was visiting his home village of Kolnyang in Bor County. Mr. Kuch was sleeping in a hut when the SPLA soldiers went to his village in response to the local disputes among groups of people in the village.

As soon as the soldiers got into his hut, they started beating him and took him to the army barracks where he was tortured throughout the night. After Mr. Kuch lost consciousness, he was released and taken to the hospital in Bortown where he was later pronounced dead.

Mr. Kuch is one of the ‘Lost Boys’ who walked for a thousand miles from South Sudan to Ethiopian and Kenyan camps in 1987 as the result of the 21 year civil war between the Sudan armed forces and South Sudanese. The lost boys have made an enormous contribution in the signing of the CPA and they have raised international support for South Sudan.

The United States is one of the leading countries that have played an important role in bringing peace to South Sudan. This has been done through the connections of the lost boys and many other South Sudanese Diasporas. Mr. Kuch suffered all his life for the country he loves and now he shamelessly died in the hands of his own people.

It is time for the government of South Sudan to make things straight and bring those who are responsible to justice. What good did the disarmament forces bring to the people of Jonglei state? Mr. Kuch was a naturalized US citizen from the state of Texas. The government of South Sudan must publicly explained how he died and what measures have been taken to bring justice to this injustice.

Is this the nation we dreamt for where injustice spreads like a wild fire? Lord prints our national identity in our hearts and changes the mindset of those who think they are the supreme owners of our land and that we all belong to South Sudan. In the name of freedom, peace to South Sudan and to the world!

-Michael Ayuen Kuany holds a master’s degree (MA) from Eastern Mennonite University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. He is the founder, president and CEO of Rebuild Sudan. He can be reached at: michael@rebuildsudan.org

Prostitution in Juba, the Shocking Inside Story

East Africa: Prostitution in Juba, the Shocking Inside StoryTagged: East Africa, East Africa, Governance, Human Rights, Kenya, Legal Affairs, South Sudan, Sudan, Women

BY: JOYCE JOAN WANGUI, 8 AUGUST 2012AUG. 20/2012, SSN; Phostine Anyango tossed and turned in her sleep. She was unable to sleep. She agonised the whole night about her future. The mother of four beautiful children was about to make a decision that would dramatically change her life.

Was she willing to abandon her nine-year marriage in search of riches in Juba, South Sudan?

She was jobless. Her husband was a casual labourer. Life in Kibera, one of Africa’s largest slums was unbearable. She recalled almost tearfully the days she used to sell doughnuts. Those were hard and tough times. Today, her children were out of school. She had to end their poverty-stricken life. Her elder sister Auma resides in Juba where she engages in prostitution. She had put up a major argument for Anyango to join her.

For days, Anyango tearfully agonised. But each day she stared at the empty stove and looked into her children’s hungry eyes, she got lured. Eventually she decided to travel to the newfound land of opportunities.

Auma, a seasoned prostitute, had perfected the art. She was even constructing a stone house at her rural home in Kisumu from her proceeds. Prostitution in Juba, says Auma, is very lucrative. She is able to target the crème de la crème with absolute ease.

Anyango joined hundreds of East African girls flocking into Juba daily to trade in flesh. Since South Sudan gained its independence in July 2010, its capital city Juba became a fast growing metropolitan city. It attracts investors, tourists, NGOs and sex workers from neighbouring countries.

Kenyan girls have outsmarted the rest in the world’s oldest trade. Cathy Groenendijk, head of a Juba-based NGO, Confident Children out of Conflict, says: “Kenyans are street-smart. They are considered the top of the ladder in this trade.”

After several days of research and reading, I found out that Kenyan girls are taken to Juba by traffickers who include relatives, friends, recruiting agencies and South Sudanese men. My research led me to a house in Nairobi’s Ngumo estate. The house, occupied by South Sudanese nationals, operates as an agency that takes women to Juba. Their list of jobs ranges from bankers, hoteliers, waitresses, teachers among others.

I met five girls waiting for their documents to be processed. They each had to part with a registration fee of Sh3,000, a valid passport, a KCSE certificate and a medical certificate. The entire process which takes one month eventually costs each applicant Sh60,000.

Once complete, two employees of the agency take the girls to Juba by bus. An inside source who strictly spoke on condition of anonymity says the girls are taken to brothels and oriented in the sex market. This particular recruiting agency liaises with brothel owners in Juba, mainly owned by ex-military South Sudanese officials. The girls find themselves trapped into sexual slavery with no means of escape.

A further probe on the legality of this agency could only land me in murky waters. I decided to check with the Ministry of Labour’s National Employment Bureau only to realise that the agency is not registered and none of the officials know of its existence.

Though prostitution is illegal, it has grown rapidly, causing sleepless nights to Juba authorities. They fear the city could soon degenerate into a sex tourism destination. It is estimated that the population of sex workers in Juba stands between 3,500 and 10,000. They are spread out in major sex hot spots namely Jebel, Gumbo, Customs and Gudele markets.

These spots are characterised by numerous brothels, commonly referred to as ‘sex camps’ which masquerade as ‘lodges’. A first time visitor would be tricked by the term, only to end up in the hands of prostitutes. Interestingly, the demand for sex trade here is as high as the supply.

In many UN organisations, NGOs and other foreign owned companies, work policies have no family package; hence most male clients relocate without their wives. In a bid to quench their sexual thirst, they are forced to have sex with the variety of prostitutes scattered in Juba. A spot check by this reporter within Jebel and the Queen of Sheba Hotel spotted many UN vehicles at the exact time the sex work commences.

Jebel is the most preferred sex spot. Located 8km west of Juba City, it is by far the cleanest and most organised. It is home to all types of prostitutes.

Customs, located in the heart of Juba town, is a heap of dilapidated sex camps built from decrepit structures made of papyrus and tin and old plastic sheeting.
According to CCC, the Juba-based NGO that rehabilitates street children and sex workers, an estimated 400 to 600 sex workers live in this congested makeshift brothel.

I visited these places severally and discovered that some prostitutes, particularly Congolese, women live with their children. Many of the children were born inside the sex camps. With no proper upbringing, there is fear of the young ones ending up like their mothers.

I marvelled at the women’s ability to endure the stench of rotten garbage that hangs around the camps. Their clients, some rich and affluent, are not bothered by the filth that abounds: “Well, if a man wants sex, he can have it anywhere,” explains Miriam Kasonga, a Congolese woman.

Prostitution in Juba brings with it bondage, crime, involuntary servitude and even human trafficking. Women face unique challenges such as scarcity of condoms, inability to access ARV drugs for those infected with HIV, refusal of some clients to use condoms, and harassment by police.

Ironically, some girls have eschewed these challenges. They are making a killing out of the sex work through certain survival skills: “I came here to create wealth, so I target rich Dinkas (tall, dark Southerners) and Arabs from Khartoum, who pay me in dollars,” explains Ruth.

Ruth will never live in a sex camp and has managed to get a ‘steady boyfriend’ who pays her rent in an up-market residence. “I make close to $300 (Sh25,200) per night because I follow rich men in their hotel rooms.” She calls herself a self-made prostitute who is not under the mercy of pimps, like numerous others. To excel in Juba, says Ruth, you must strive to package yourself.

Gut-wrenching decisions: Prostitution in Juba is multi-faceted. Some women enter into the trade voluntarily while others are lured or coerced into it. Others who are gainfully employed in Juba supplement their income through prostitution.

Majority however are trapped into sexual bondage. They endure violence and humiliation. Another section engages in transactional sex, a common trend among Kenyan girls. While women admit that they make quick money in the trade, the dynamics force them to make gut-wrenching decisions.

One Fatuma Abdallah admitted that she had to share a used condom which rotated among three sex workers: “In our brothel, we are so poor and desperate. We cannot even afford to buy condoms. The little money I make out of selling my body is only enough to feed me,” she confesses.

Fatuma is a 17-year-old school dropout who hails from Nairobi’s Eastleigh area. Her aunt, who travelled with her to Juba in 2011, introduced her to prostitution. Cathy Groenendijk of CCC notes that when the body becomes the only asset for a woman, prostitution becomes an option.

In Juba, sex trade is mainly fuelled by foreigners although some young South Sudanese girls have learnt the tricks. It occurs in sex camps. Ethiopian sex workers are scattered around big hotels like the famous Queen of Sheba and Juba Bridge Hotel. Some even engage in sexual acts on the road side or on the hotel corridors.

“We always want to be unique from the rest. We act as strip dancers, escort girls or waitresses, where we solicit for sex from our clients,” said a young Ethiopian who could neither disclose her name nor age.

The girls complained that most male clients refused to use condoms. This exposes them to STIs (Sexually-transmitted infections) and HIV/Aids.

An Ethiopian veteran sex worker told me: “Here, one has to make life and death decisions so as to survive. The locals who are our main clients will never agree to use condoms. Some know they are very sick and all they want is to spread their HIV to us,” says Afeworki Hailu.

She is still nursing a knife stab on her thigh which she earned from a client when she insisted that he uses a condom, “He nearly killed me but I managed to escape. When you tell men to use condoms they draw knives or guns on you.”

HIV in Juba a time-bomb: Phyllis Jones-Changa, of Family Health International, an NGO funded by the US Agency for International Development that works with most at-risk populations, describes HIV in Juba as a time-bomb. A study conducted in 2011 in four main states – Eastern, Western, Central Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal – placed HIV prevalence at 8 per cent.

This is a sharp increase from the 3.1 per cent recorded in 2009. With the rise in HIV comes the agony of inaccessibility of ARVs, ill treatment of prostitutes in hospitals and the subsequent death of many girls who can’t even be transported for burial in their home countries.

The government of South Sudan is desperate to rein in sex trade. The paradox here is that most brothels are owned by ex-military officials, police men and the affluent. According to the girls, a remarkable number of GOSS officials also engage in sex with the prostitutes, albeit discreetly.

The government physically demolishes the brothels but they’re soon reconstructed. An official from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports terms the new ‘cultural revolution’ sparked by foreigners and scores of Southerners who returned after the secession as a catalyst for prostitution.

“South Sudanese cultures which are embedded on good morals have been corroded by foreign influence. Most women and men are exporting their prostitution and crime skills to Juba and inculcating them in our people.”

Underage girls too are engaging in prostitution, causing a major headache to the ministry of Gender and Child Welfare. The growing numbers of prostitutes aged between 12 to 14 is catalyzed by the new wave of street children in Juba. “This is the price we are paying for peace,” says an official from the ministry who declined to be named.

Noting that the secession of South Sudan from Sudan was a huge accomplishment, he adds that the country is overwhelmed by a huge number of returnees, most of who are jobless and end up in all manner of crimes.

But neither Auma nor Anyango is concerned by the stigma attached to foreigners and sex trade. Neither do they care if the authorities are destroying the sex camps. They are hell bent on making ends meet and finally returning to Kenya with loads of money.

“I had to make a brutal decision. I abandoned my husband and children for quick money here,” admits Anyango. I met Anyango and Auma at Jebel market; one of the biggest markets in Juba.

Girls flock this market to trade in sex for any price. They charge anything from South Sudanese pound (SDG) 10 to 100 (Sh315-3,145). Some have rented small rooms within the market. Others convert their business premises into lodges at night. Jebel has an estimated 600 to 800 prostitutes.

“Here, we sleep with anyone that looks like a man, including young boys; as long as they can part with the pounds,” says Anyango. She has no remorse for abandoning her family. On a good day, she can make 100SDG (Sh3,145) which she considers a radical departure from the Sh100 she earned daily in Kibera.

In Juba, however, Anyango’s earning is considered meagre owing to the high cost of living. An ordinary meal of white rice, beef and a cool drink costs 30 SDG (Sh945). In other sections of Juba, one needs at least 600 pounds to enjoy a decent meal. Anyango and her sister rents a room for 50SDG per day which means that they have to work extra hard to break even.

Failure to pay rent would compel them to move deeper into the compound, past the garbage heaps, to very dilapidated shanties, which is difficult to attract clients. Noting that daily rent might be hard to come by, the sisters strategise by having regular clients, so called ‘steady boyfriends’ who in turn pay their rent and food. “This means we have to remain attractive to our clients, lest they find other meat elsewhere.”

Most women I interviewed blamed poverty for their plight: “No one would want to leave their families and come to sell their bodies here,” says Mary Wangui, a bar operator who rents space at night for sex clients. She says the high rate of poverty, especially among Kenyan women has forced them to ‘diversify’.

“Most women who rent my rooms are over 40 years; some have families back home but prefer to do prostitution in Juba.”

The bar owner introduces me to three women who are ailing from HIV complications. “We are waiting to die and be buried here. Since we got this disease from local men we have to spread it here,” says one.

At the Juba Teaching Hospital, the major government hospital, some sex workers decry harassment by local nurses and negligence by doctors. Those with no local ‘God-fathers’ or whose visas have expired bear the heaviest brunt as they are mistreated.

In my routine checkups, the nurses discovered that my CD4 count was so low and all they could tell me is to go and die in my country,” confesses Margarita from Uganda. Brothel areas have no proper health facilities save for pharmacies that over-price the drugs.

The Child Act of South Sudan 2008 prohibits child prostitution but poverty, homelessness, and lack of a defined family unit encourages the vice.

Achan is a 14-year-old Dinka girl who lost both parents during the war. She has no recollection of where her siblings or other relatives are. She sleeps in the cold, just outside Konyokonyo market, one of the oldest markets in Juba and the dirtiest of all. It has since been demolished to pave way for new, cleaner structures.

Though shy and naïve, Achan looks older than her age. She is inured to the cruel life. She agrees to tell me her ordeal through a translator. “I exchange sex for food, water or soap. Sometimes a group of police men who make night patrols rape me till morning and do not offer me anything.”

When lady luck befalls her, she is invited by other street girls to service truck drivers at Gumbo, a major transit point for many long distance truck drivers.
She has never used a condom because she has no access to it. Her peers are lucky enough to be employed as part time bartenders at night, where they also sleep with men for as little as 3SDG. Her wish is to work as a brothel prostitute because this will assure her of a bed, toilet and bathing water.

CCC’s research also revealed that women pimps take advantage of underage local girls by forcefully taking them and selling them to male clients.

No love in Juba, only sex: Sex workers in Juba have one mission – to make money. No one has time for love. At Near Bros ‘Lodge’, home to a mixture of Kenyan, Ugandans and Congolese sex workers, I meet Stella Njeri. Stella does not even look at the faces of her clients: “I cannot even tell the colours of their underwears,” she says. All she cares about is how much she can make in each encounter.

Another Congolese quoted by CCC in their 2011 Action research says that she has never enjoyed sex, “I do it without any emotions. It is like the way you use your computer in the office or a cup to drink water.”

Another Kenyan girl told how she shares her men with her girlfriends, if they are unlucky to get clients. “I usually have a steady client and when he finishes with me, he is free to sleep with my three other friends while I watch.” Is she not jealous? Jealousy does not count here. She says they all came to get money and not love.

In this lodge, I discover that Kenyan girls distinguish themselves from the rest. They will never agree to sleep with a man without protection, unlike their Ugandan and Congolese counterparts. They reveal that most Kenyan girls are educated and exposed and will never agree to stoop low, at whatever cost.

“Even if it is about money, one has to think of the dangers involved. We buy our own condoms at 5 Sudanese Pounds or sometimes get them for free from UNFPA and other NGOs.”

Damaris Umutoni is a beautician by day and a sex worker at night; a situation replicated by many girls in Juba, as a means of supplementing their daily income. She left Uganda in 2010. Her parents had died leaving her with the burden of catering for her siblings: “We literally foraged for food and I couldn’t stand by and watch my younger ones dying while I could do something to change the scenario.”

Umutoni left Kampala for Gulu, Northern Uganda. She started selling her body. She would later befriend a South Sudanese man who took her to Juba and took full advantage of her. “The man enjoyed all manner of sex with me without even caring to use a condom.”

He even acted as her pimp by soliciting sex on her behalf from other men and never bothered to pay her a single dime. Her sexual freedom arrived when she discovered Customs market. Customs is a major sex hot spot located along the main road from Yei into Juba town, between the Dr John Garang Mausoleum and the Juba University roundabouts.

Here, she was able to network with fellow Ugandans who showed her the tricks of trade. She can now negotiate her own price and send money to her siblings back home.

When a Juba girl tells you she works for the ‘UN’, she means she can offer service to any man, anywhere and at any price. Auma and Anyango admit that the trade is surrounded by many risks: “You are either worrying about the wrath of the police or being infected with the deadly HIV or the amount of money you need to send back home,” says Auma, adding that at any given minute, one has to be worrying about something.

The current political situation in South Sudan, termed as precarious by the international community, has done little to deter the efforts of sex workers. Police patrols have been intensified in major hotspots, including Jebel, and even though many foreign girls are nabbed for lack of necessary papers, majority walk their way to freedom by offering free sex to policemen.

Ajok Deng, a social worker, descries the double standards that some police apply when dealing with prostitutes, “Why would a police demand for sex and at the same time pretend to be offering security?”

Trafficking for sex
The Counter-Trafficking Act, signed into law by President Mwai Kibaki has been touted as a milestone in curtailing the trafficking in persons. It offers protection to trafficking victims in Kenya. The law gives a 30-year jail term or a hefty fine of Sh30 million for convicted traffickers. This notwithstanding, traffickers are still engaging in the act despite the penalties.

Scores of women I interviewed admitted that they were victims of trafficking. A simple internet advertisement that read, ‘Waitress jobs available in Juba, attractive salary, accommodation offered, visas & work permits organized for you’ landed Beatrice Mugambi in jeopardy.

She fell into the scam of an unscrupulous recruiting agency that once had offices in Nairobi’s River Road area. “I parted with Sh150, 000,” she says. This caused a financial dent in her family as her father had to sell a huge chunk of land to ensure that her daughter would be gainfully employed in Juba.

On the material day, Beatrice met with her agent at the Kampala Coach Bus terminus where she would be introduced to five other ‘beneficiaries’ of the waitress job.

The agent accompanied them to Juba and ensured that all border regulations were complied with. “She was very good to us and ensured that we had meals and drinks at every stop. On arrival at Nimule, the border of Uganda and South Sudan, they were each given $50 to pay for their visas.

Upon arrival in Juba the woman took them to Gumbo brothels near Juba Bridge hotel. This is when it dawned on them that they had been duped.

“We started as cleaners and laundry women around the brothels. The woman later oriented us into the prostitution job. She lied to us that we would work as waitresses when the completion of the ‘big’ hotel was done. The woman (agent) could use derogatory words, often telling the girls that what they couldn’t do with their hands, they could perfect it with their genitals. Soon Beatrice and her co-workers were immersed in prostitution.

Evans Kimoni, director of employment at the National Employment Bureau cautions Kenyans to be wary of fake recruiting agencies. In the wake of the sufferings that domestic workers undergo in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kimoni says that people should be extra careful.

“The ministry is aware that some of the recruitment agents purporting to recruit workers are not genuine. They are exploiting Kenyans. No worker should agree to pay any fees as such; expenses are paid by the employer,” he says.

He adds that anyone planning to seek employment abroad should ensure they have a valid contract. Most people, he says, are ignorant and travel without knowing which job they are going to do. “Some do not bother to inquire about the salary or duration of contract.”

“When an agency claims to offer larger than life employment packages, put a question mark,” he says, adding that his ministry is open for all inquiries from people seeking employment abroad. His department has availed a list of all legitimate recruiting agencies. The list is posted on the ministry’s website which was created with the help of the International Office of Migration.

So what measures has the ministry taken to crack down on rogue agencies? Kimoni says his department works together with the National Security Intelligence Service and the police to net rogue agencies and ensure they are arrested and charged in court.

In worst case scenarios, these agencies are de-registered and its members forced to refund any money they might have taken from unsuspecting clients. “We de-register them and circulate the information in our websites that these agencies are fake and no longer exist.”

The ministry is working on modalities to ensure that foreign embassies accredited to Kenya, including Juba, have labour/employment attaches who will intervene on behalf of workers who are exploited by their employers.

“We need to have government to government bilateral agreements as this will ensure that Kenyans seeking employment abroad are guided under clear terms and regulations,” says Kimoni.

Security bond
Kimoni says plans are underway to have a security bond introduced that would compel all employment agencies to deposit a certain amount of money to an insurance company as bond. This bond, to be signed between an employer and the government, will serve as a guarantee for anyone working overseas, so that in case of repatriation, the bond (money) would be used to transport the worker back home.

“The purpose of the bond is to enable the repatriation of the employee in the event of unforeseen circumstances. The agency will also be required to execute a separate bond with a reputable bank or insurance firm for wages assessed at the equivalent of one month’s wage for all employees engaged in the agency.”

Kimoni decries human trafficking of any form but is optimistic that his ministry, in conjunction with Foreign Affairs, ILO and IOM will curb the vice.
(All names of sex workers have been changed, to protect their identities.)

Muni Hillary
_____________________________________
P.O. Box 41, Juba, Sudan
Cell: +249 (0)955255586 | 0477220542 Fax:-
Skype muni.km
e.mail: muni.hillary@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

Let’s protect everything that’s ours, like our land

We’ve heard it so many times that we are starting from scratch and everything is new to us. Those statements are even crystal clear to both the mutes and deaf alike, but what we have to be extra careful about is the influx of foreign companies and foreign nationals that are buying up big chunks of lands and taking away our jobs at a colossal rate…