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Unity state speaker denies differences with caretaker governor

By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

August 10, 2013 (BENTIU) – The speaker of the Unity state parliament Simon Maguek Gai has dismissed a rumour that he has been critical of the appointment of Joseph Nguen Monytuel as caretaker governor.

Gai told state-run Bentiu FM 99 on Friday that he has no objection to the presidential decree relieving the former governor Taban Deng Gai, who was sacked last month.

The speaker warned that those trying to create tension between him and the caretaker governor were enemies of peace in the state.

“In the state legislative assembly no one believes or put trust on [the] propaganda that are derivation around among politicians. Maybe there are those who want to create conflicts or division within our system”, said the speaker.

Gai said that some people were intent on spoiling his name by spreading rumours that he has political differences with the new caretaker governor.

Speaker Gai said he and other members of the state assembly welcomed Monytuel ’s appointment and the removal of former governor Taban Deng Gai, a position which was outlined in a letter to the president on on July 8.

Rumours, spread across Bentiu, say that the caretaker governor may soon relieve the speaker with support from MPs who were previously demanding his impeachment, a demand which was dropped by the former governor three months ago.

Speaker Gai is accused by some parliamentarians of mismanaging state affairs hampering development efforts since 2005.

Since a peace deal in 2005, bringing former Southern rebels – the SPLM – to power, Unity state has been the largest oil-producing state in South Sudan. As part of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement 2% of revenue from Unity state’s oil exports were supposed to have been spent on development projects.

However, lack of significant improvements to basic services has led to the perception that the money has been wasted on corruption and mismanagement across Unity state’s nine counties.


Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47610

Could Telar Deng be under political witch-hunt?

By Mapuor Malual Manguen

August 10, 2013 – The Minister of Justice designate, Hon. Telar Ring Deng has failed the vetting test early this week. The eleven-member select vetting committee set up by the National Legislative Assembly to vet names of 20 ministers and ten deputy ministers appointed on July 31, 2013 by President Kiir presented a list of 18 Ministers they cleared minus Telar Ring Deng. This prevented him from taking oath of office with his colleagues on Wednesday August 7, 2013. Consequently, the Ministry of Justice still have no Minister on the date of writing this article.

The official website of Government, goss.org, reported that the approval of the nominations of Telar Ring Deng as the minister for Justice and Josephine Napwon Cosmos as the deputy minister for Youth, Culture and Sports was however left pending as the concerned parliamentary committee sought more time to clarify some issues about them. Integrity and the degree of competence were some of the criteria used by the lawmakers to vet the nominated ministers.

Telar Ring Deng is not new with such tribulations. On the 3rd of December 2007, the Chairman of the party, President Kiir Mayardit dismissed and expelled Telar Ring along with his colleague, Minister of Interior and Wildlife Conservation Hon. Aleu Ayieny from the ranks and files of the SPLM based on recommendations of an SPLM disciplinary committee. The two were investigated on charges of violating the SPLM vision, morals and regulations. However, the two were reinstated on the 28th of August 2009 after they buried hatchet with President. Ever since, Telar Ring became closest ally of President Kiir Mayaridit.

President Kiir warmed him up as caretaker governor of Lakes State prior to general elections of 2010. Barely three months at the helm, had he delivered enviable services to citizens of his state and proved his critics wrong. President Kiir later on in the same year handed him a slot of Legal Advisor to the Presidency, a position he held up to August 2, 2013. He is believed to be liberal minded.

He then proved to be one of a few very powerful figures close to the Statehouse. He has been blame for some of tough decisions taken by President Kiir including recent swift reshuffle of national government where 33 ministers and deputy ministers plus Vice President were sacked. Only five of old faces made a surprise comeback. Interestingly though, almost all these immediate former ministers are Members of Parliament. They may have ambushed Telar Ring Deng in the National Assembly for tit for tat affair.

One South Sudanese commentator argued on his Facebook page that there are conspiracy theories surrounding his (Telar) exclusion from approved list, including his academic credentials, his alleged confrontational politics which earned him many political nemeses; and indeed his manipulating energy of the Presidency to score political points.

Mr. Telar Ring Deng is said to have graduated with BA in Anthropology and Political Science from New York State University in 1981. He later joined Buckingham University and graduated with LLB in 1994. He pursued master program in the same institution with LLM specializing in Commercial Laws and graduated in 1995. If these credentials are anything to go by, the question of his failure to meet academic qualification could be a farce in the side of vetting committee.

Nevertheless, I cann’t be certain about all this argument. But equally, no one can downplay anything of this debate either because in Juba, everything starts as a rumor or later on becomes a reality.

So, did Mr. Telar Ring Deng really failed to meet vetting criteria or was it just a witch-hunt? Only time and Juba rumor mongers will tell the trust as Justice Ministry remains vacant.

The author is journalist and columnist based in Juba. He can be reached at mapuormalual@yahoo.com

Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47616

SPLM SG Amum takes South Sudan’s Kiir to court over “violations of constitution”

August 7, 2013 (JUBA) – The secretary-general of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Pagan Amum, has filed a petition in the country’s supreme court over a decision by president and SPLM chairperson, Salva Kiir Mayardit, accusing him of violating the party’s charter and transitional constitution on his rights and freedoms of movement, speech and expression.

JPEG - 28.8 kbSudan People’s Liberation Movement Pagan Amum Okiech (Reuters)

Amum, who submitted the petition to the supreme court on Wednesday, equally took the SPLM party to court for not advising the chairperson against the violations.

On 23 July, Kiir issued a party order suspending Amum whom he accused of insubordination and incitement, among others, when the latter criticized the president’s action of suspending two national ministers, Deng Alor Kuol and Kosti Manibe Ngai.

Kiir formed a committee to investigate Amum, which he rejected, challenging Kiir to use the party structures.

He also issued another party order banning Amum from travelling outside Juba and not to speak to any media.

17 lawyers have signed the petition against the president in defence of the secretary general.

In the petition in which Kiir is referred to as 1st respondent while the SPLM is referred to as 2nd respondent, it accuses the two respondents for infringing on the personal liberties of the party SG.

“The first and the 2nd respondents are jointly sued for their violation, infringement and contravention of the petitioner’s rights of personal liberty, freedom of expression and freedom of movement under articles 12, 24 and 27 respectively, of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011”, partly reads the petition.

It said the party failed to advise the first respondent to comply with the SPLM constitution which does not provide for restriction of rights and freedoms and to observe those rights as enshrined in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011.

“The acts and/or omissions of the Respondents to prohibit the petitioner from making any press conference or media, travel outside Juba violates the fundamental right of the petitioner captured in Article 9 (2) and (3), 12, 24, and 27 of the Constitution of South Sudan 2011,” it said.

Amum demands that the Supreme Court declares the act of the party chairman prohibiting him from enjoying his fundamental right and freedom of expression as unconstitutional and a violation of article 24 (1) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan.

The petition also called on the SPLM to form a committee in accordance with the party’s constitution 2008.

“A declaration that the SPLM’s Constitution has no force of law, and contravention of those provisions of the SPLM constitution and regulations does not create any offence except when the alleged act contravenes provisions of any law in force within the Republic of South Sudan”, it said.


Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47570

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