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.
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