Friday, June 17, 2016

Don't Mourn For Corruption Convicts

By Deng Kiir Akok

The South Sudan's High Court has on Monday June 13, 2016 sentenced at least 16 former office of the President officials,  including senior presidential aides, to life in prison for stealing over $14 million and 30 million South Sudanese pounds.

Last year, His Excellency the President of republic, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit issued an administrative order suspending his top aides, accusing them of corruption, including forging his signature. They also committed other irregularities in this office living many South Sudanese with opened mouths.

The accused and now convicted include chief administrator, Mayen Wol Jong, executive director, Yel Luol Koor, controller of account, Nhomuot Agoth Cithiik, Mr. John Agou Wuoi, a national security officer seconded to the office of the President, central bank employees and four Kenyans.

Now what would Monday Court's decision means to convicts' villages-based families and friends? What would we tell them if they called us over the telephone back here in Juba.

Well, these convicts are proved guilty of theft and forgeries by mighty South Sudan's High Court that would be my answer to them.

With this court's decision, I am not happy or sad about it as in my own opinion but I will keep it for my consumption on which is which between the above two options. But I will tell to friends which side am I taking.

What would you expect me to say? If at all public money is stolen by these convicts who were once called " Awalad el Junub ". What of us? This was all nonsenses. Are we not sons and daughters of this country?

But in a real sense not according to their understanding, we are all sons and daughters of this soil which had taken many lives during the liberation periods. Not only that it had taken many lives in that long struggles but till now is taking our beloved ones.

No doubt they enjoyed the sweetest sweet ever they never thought to turn bitter but that smelt like a feather on fire last Monday. The sweet begun its bitterness when they were suspended and have been under investigations till last Monday for their alleged involvement in one of the country's worst lost of million and million of dollars and pounds to their pockets.

When the court last Monday found them guilty and gave them a life in prison sentence, I think they might have regretted for their involvement in such activities.

Don't throw it away, ' muok ka tiing ka ya '. No way of escaping your deeds. People who involve themselves in misusing public money forget one thing here and is very obvious. One may abuse his/her powers and later at the end be held accountable.

Though the convicts can make an appeal hoping they will reverse the declaration. South Sudan's high Court has already taught them a lesson they  will  never forget. And also a warning to those who are still serving for the government right now who assume there will never be ccountability.

This is a start the country has experienced in sentenced last year accused and now convicted, former senior presidential aides. I recommend that those in service shouldn't fall into the same footsteps of like the convicts fell into.

This practice becomes a hide and seek game regarding these suspects and now convicted who stole money and were immediately dragged out from office and faced charges.

They had really maximized that a small time frame (2014 - 2015) to fulfill their long awaited dreams. No doubt they have enriched themselves with what is so called public funds and in a clear sense  is our money.

South Sudanese citizens were taken by surprise when they learned in the news that their money was stolen.That money could have been used in delivering service to them but was stolen by senior presidential aides in the office of the President.

I prefer their immediate families and friends would not mourned them for being sentenced to spend the rest of their lives behind bars. For it's untraditional in Dinka tribe or may be in any other tribe in South Sudan to mourn for a person that has not died.

Because of last Monday jurisdiction, some of the convicts' families and friends broke in tears as judge Lado Armeno read out the final decision the court took on the suspects.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Why Do Our Women Want To Lighten Their Skin?

By Deng Kiir Akok

Is it a matter of playing around with one’s own money? Let me admit. That hard to find money is used to buy chemicals in search of white beauty. What you can see in her is dark elbow, dark finger joints, dark knee caps and dark toe joints that resisted the process for a designated skin colour or white complexion. She would not be black, white or brown but yellow-brown or she is there or in mother tongue agai-koc meaning surprising people is a suitable word for her new attained colour.

Skin bleaching phenomenon is not new to South Sudanese women to practice it but has its deep root in time of civil wars.

Skin lightening, or skin bleaching, is a cosmetic procedure that aims to lighten dark areas of skin or achieve a generally paler skin tone (NHS Choices).

Skin bleaching becomes an all out practice for South Sudanese women before after South Sudan gained her independence from Sudan on 9th July 2011. This could be probably prompted by their unfitted to the Arab community in Khartoum when they fled 22 years of conflict and took refuge in the northern towns of Sudan.

Although studies that were conducted on skin bleaching some years back discovered men to be in engaged in skin lightening phenomenon to change their complexion.
However, these practices have not yet arrived in South Sudan.

I would like you to take you through a conversation I went with one skin lightening veteran and at time a tea maker who wished not to be disclosed one evening. “ I am not longer using cream because I could not afford it, she said. I am totally broke to buy these chemical peels, she told me. Since 2015 up to date I abandoned creams because of the everyday market increase in price that is rooted from South Sudanese Pound devaluation against the dollar last year ”.

The government of South Sudan announced on Tuesday, 15 the floating of the country’s currency. After the announcement, the value of South Sudanese Pound (SSP), which had been pegged to the U.S. dollar at an official rate of 2.96 SSP to the dollar, fell to levels approaching the parallel market rates of 18.50 SSP to the dollar.

Why do you look darker than me but you are just from skin lightening, I asked her. “ When you stopped applying cream on your skin, you first seem darker and darker than you were before ", she narrated it to me.

This is because of sunlight and a reviving of melanin functions, a colouring pigment that determines skin, hair and eye colour.

 “ So my skin tone will return to its normal after sometimes but not now ", she continued.

In our conversation, she asked me about my marital status and I had accepted the status of being married. “ Is your wife with us in the pursuit of a lighter or white skin or on the other side ? ”, she asked me.

Because I did not bother myself to beat around the bush, I jumped to the last answer and I told her, she will lose this tall gentleman, with better hair you can see in front of you as her husband. She will not even spend a second in my house. She will at once leave my house if she tampered with cream and as I speak to you now, I keep on checking on her to see whether she has used any.

She has no reason to apply cream on her body to make herself more attractive to me than she does to me now.

I picked her when she was black-skinned and I would continue to love her in that colour.

There is nothing wrong with black skin colour in my sense as an African. Africans are known for their dark skin. I do not care about white skin because I was created with black skin then no matter let stay black, I told her.

Though there are possible risks encountered with cosmetics, South Sudanese women continue to use them despite an alarming warning by health experts since these creams contain dangerous materials as put by National Health Service Choices (NHS Choices), the United Kingdom (UK) online health information service.

The two ingredients dominating creams include hydroquinone, corticosteroids and mercury which in a long use may lead to skin turning dark or too light, thinning of the skin, visible blood vessels in the skin, scarring, kidney, liver or nerve damage, abnormalities in a newborn baby (if used during pregnancy).

Nowhere on earth you can find women with white skin and men and children are with black skin. This is totally wrong even God cannot accept that because he created our genetic makeup the same. So no reason for South Sudanese women mostly township women to lighten their skin while their men and children are black skin.

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