Western Equatoria State officials urged to declare assets

23 Feb 2012

Western Equatoria State officials urged to declare assets

21 February 2012 – To strengthen state transparency and accountability, the Western Equatoria Anti- Corruption Commission launched a declaration of assets for state officials in the capital Yambio today.

In opening remarks, Commission Chair Simon Ngbidigi said this would be a significant step towards good governance.

"We have to declare our assets, income and liabilities ... and that of our spouses, as well as our children's assets if we have children who own assets," he said.

Mr. Ngbidigi added that the deadline for declaration of assets, which was originally 31 January, had been extended to 31 March.

"Whoever does not meet the deadline will be requested to resign from his or her post two weeks after the deadline and to face the law after that," he warned.

In 2011, the National Anti-Corruption Commission issued forms to top government officials asking them to declare their assets and was reinforced in January when President Salva Kiir issued Order No 30/2011 for the declaration of assets.

Constitutional post holders, members of the legislature, judiciary, senior civil servants and senior officers in the organized forces (military, police, wildlife, prison, fire brigade and customs) must declare their assets.

State Governor Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro advised officials to fill the forms in honestly, saying responses would determine who would be part of the new state cabinet, which will soon be formed.

"Declare what you have and do not declare what you do not have," the governor said. "Let us be responsible to build this nation, let us be responsible for what we do and what we say."

Yambio Town resident, Emanuel Kate,hoped that the declaration of state official's assets would minimize financial fraud, mismanagement and corruption.

South Sudanese Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar was the first official in the country to declare his net wealth and assets.