TRUMP NOW TRAMPING ON THEM: Why Americans hit on Tycoon Bol Mel

By Peter Kuot

What I call ‘stupid corruption’.
After independence in 2011, the SPLM converged to address the rampant corruption in the country and to come back to the drawing board, strategize again and steer the country to the right direction. This was the initiative of the former SG Cde. Pagan Amum who during the 2010 general elections had many disagreements with the Chairman Gen. Salva Kiir, who disarmed SPLM democratic institutions at state levels of their powers and condensed all decisions on selection of candidates on the Political Bureau (the beginning of South Sudan conflict). 

At the SPLM Liberation Council congress in 2012, during anti-corruption session, Cde. Gier Chuang Aluong the then  Minister of Roads and Bridges was summoned to explain why roads contracts were given to ABMC without a competitive national/international bidding and at a rate of $3.6 Million Dollars per Kilometre, while Juba-Nimule road was constructed by internation companies at a rate of $1.15 Million Dollars per a Kilometre (a difference of $2.45 million dollar). That is why I call it stupid corruption. Why such a big difference? 

Here was what Gier Chuang said, something that landed him in troubles with J1.

In his response to the Liberation Council, Hon. Gier Chuang Aluong said that that contract was issued to ABMC at the time Anthony Lino Makana (current Speaker of Parliament) was the Minister of Transport, Roads and Bridges. He said, since taking over the Ministry, no new contracts have since been awarded.

However, Hon. Gier said he did ask his predecessor Hon. Anthony Lino Makana how the contract was awarded and what he was told was that ABMC contract was issued by the Office of the President. 

The Minister of Transport, Roads and Bridges was only served with a letter from the Office of the President to issue contract documents at the rate of $3.6 Million Dollars per a Kilometre. 

The issue generated heavy arguments among the members until it ended with no clear conclusion. 

As the Editor-in-chief of the Star Newsaper at the time in Juba, I got interested to investigate and dig deeper into this saga. Anyway a lot of information was at our disposal as journalists to convey. 

Knowing how good the relationship between President Kiir and Hon. Gier Chuang was, things began to fall apart from that point. The two men’s relationship began to be sour and this is the reason Hon. Gier was thrown out of cabinet in the June 2013 complete disolution of government in which he did not come back, only to end up as a political detainee on 15th December 2013. Yes, as you know many people of self interest exploited the situation.

Their question was; why did Gier mention the name of the President? Even if he knew that, he should have covered the name of his boss.

If there was a will, this would have been resolved by the SPLM Liberation Council. The council would have recommended an investigation, contract would have been corrected to the right figures and ABMC would have been asked to construct the roads equivalent to money paid and ordered to refund the money. But corruption blinded people like there was no tomorrow. 

To make things worse, the constructions were never completed. I will not talk about the famous “Dura Saga” in which a number of Bol Mel’s companies were listed in the newspaper in Juba in 2012/2013 by the investigating committee that did not succeed to date.


The views expressed herein are not necessarily AFTABOSS’s.

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