Wau marches against corruption

12 Dec 2011

Wau marches against corruption

9 December 2011 – Vowing to fight graft and its drain on development funds, citizens in the Western Bahr El-Ghazal State capital of Wau marched from Peace Square to Isaac Stadium today to mark Global Anti-corruption Day.

The procession was organized by the state's newly established Anticorruption Commission, which would officially kick off with the Day's celebrations.

"We struggled for peace through war and bloodshed and now shall be fighting another ... war against corruption," said Francis Basam, director general for states coordination in the national Anticorruption Commission.

Adding that today was the fifth time South Sudan had celebrated Anti-corruption Day, Mr. Basam urged all to band together in combating the debilitating practice, noting that the government had shown political will to do so.

"It is for an important function that we are here today," said State Minister of Physical Infrastructure Raphael Makel, representing Governor Rizik Zackaria Hassan. Corruption was rampant among top government officials, she said, urging the commission to carry out its duties.

Ms. Makel stressed that combating corruption required a collective effort that should start with the grassroots and carry on to the highest government levels.

State Director of the Employee Justice Chamber Johnson Eugenio called on non-governmental organizations to work closely with the Anti-corruption Commission to ensure that all people received the information they needed.

"We have to start fighting corruption (beginning with) ourselves, families, community and then government institutions," Mr. Eugenio said.

Luka Lawrence Dengue, a South Sudanese returnee from Khartoum, said government funds were spent on luxury goods rather than providing basic services to the people.

Public funds meant for road construction, water, heath facilities and education were diverted into private pockets for individual enrichment, Mr. Dengue said.