By Deng Akok Muoradid
June 8, 2018 (SSNA) — In South Sudan, there is no culture and religion which condones corruption. Even a devil itself does not encourage its followers to practice corruption. The indigenous South Sudanese described corruption as a most sinful criminal act worse than killing. This explains why a corrupt individual was neither respected nor allowed to marry in the ancient South Sudanese societies. When talking about corruption, I am not only referring to the stealing of money as it is being mistaken by my fellow South Sudanese, but I am generalizing all the illegal act such as cattle raiding, child abduction, skin bleaching, adultery, cheating, unfair judgment, cheating, embezzlement of public funds, nepotism, selling and buying of academic documents etc. South Sudanese are totally prohibited from practicing corruption by their respective cultures and religions. For example, Christianity, Islamic, African traditional religions and the 64 cultures of South Sudan do not allow the people to practice corruption.
However, corruption is currently no longer an illegal act in South Sudan because it has been adopted by the citizens as an instrument for acquiring wealth, power and satisfying one’s interest. Nowadays, corruption is being practiced by both the ordinary citizens and those entrusted with the task of eradicating it. To prove that corruption is no longer a crime in South Sudan, it has never happened in any South Sudanese Traditional chiefdom or kingdom for a sub chief to corrupt the community resources and again be reappointed or reinstated back into his previous position by the king or paramount chief. It is happening today where a corrupt individual is promoted to the high position without taking punitive action against him or her. You may come to the sense that our traditional authorities were successful in eradicating corruption while they had no written constitution compared to the current period where we have a written constitution and the parliament. So, corruption is a legal practice in South Sudan.
I have never heard of any corrupt individual being punished or executed by the court because corruption is being practiced at all the levels beginning from judiciary, executive and legislature. Whom do we expect to come and eradicate corruption when the constitutional holders are the one practicing it? One may conclude that the current crisis is an outcome of corruption because the country’s resources have ended up in the hands of few men and women thus leaving vast majority of citizens inaccessible to the resources. Those few individuals who looted the public funds later disagreed among selves and started killing the poor citizens from whom they have looted the properties. Even a Satan can’t victimize a human being twice at once. Looting the properties and killing the owner is a sin that can’t be committed by a Satan. By the way those corrupt South Sudanese would have not been a life if the almighty God is really there.
Last Sunday, I went to the certain church in Juba and found a pastor and the congregation crying loudly “ God bring peace to South Sudan, God give for us peace”. I went straight and sat down among the congregation. After the prayers, I asked the pastor “Do you believe that the God exists” The pastor replied that there is God. I told him that if there is almighty God then why are you wasting your time asking him to bring peace to South Sudan. You should ask him to make a general judgment for all South Sudanese including me so that he select out those who are responsible for the current crisis and send them to hell. I further elaborated to the pastor and his congregation that the peace which they are asking from God will not be signed and implemented by him (God) but its implementation lies in the hands of same individuals. I explained to them that a sustainable and everlasting peace shall prevail in South Sudan if the God you are praying to agree to select out all the criminals among the South Sudanese and send them to hell. Otherwise you should not be expecting any sustainable peace from IGAD, TRIOKA and even the partners in the agreement. So next Sunday, you pray to God to make a general judgment for all South Sudanese if he is not ready to make a world’s judgment as promised in the Bible. I finally concluded by telling the pastor that I was not ready to give him more advice because telling the truth to the people is considered as a criminal act in South Sudan. It is clearly written in the Bible that tell the truth to set you free and this versus is contradicting with South Sudanese ideology. In South Sudan, someone who tells the truth is considered as a bad man or a criminal.
Therefore, in relation to the above conversation, I am reiterating that corruption in South Sudan has become rampant and uncontrollable because almost all the people are practicing it. I am appealing to all the victims and religious men like pastors, sheiks, spear masters and prophets to pray to their respective God(s) so that he eliminates those who are behind the current ongoing crisis.
The author is a prominent South Sudanese activist and he is also a Student at the University of Juba. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.