Government of South Sudan accuses former Minister of Petroleum, Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth of corruption and bad management of oil industry. Government still carrying out investigations and has suspended all pre-sales oil contracts.
The president of the Republic of South Sudan issued a presidential decree to ban former Minister of Petroleum from leaving the country until investigations are done. His bank accounts and assets are also frozen.
The Minister was removed through a controversial presidential decree while traveling the West African nation of Nigeria but according to the latest report, president Kiir made the urgent decision to save the country’s economy from collapsing which was going to be triggered by bad pre-sales deals that were made by the former minister without proper consultation.
Speaking to reporters on Friday after the Cabinet meeting in Juba, the Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth underscored that the Government had come to a conclusion to end contracts with all non-competitive tenders, saying once a business is offered at fixed prices, it always remains the same, but if it’s sold at an auction, the highest bidder is considered, thus driving up the prices.
“When you sell to a specific company without competition, definitely you agree on certain rates but when it is free competition you give to the highest bidder,” said Michael Makuei Lueth, Government’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
Makuei added that, the president had issued an order directing all pre-sales contracts to cease operating, stressing it does add any revenue or boost the country’s economy, instead, it makes it worse.
“The president directed that all pre-sales contract should be suspended. These pre-sales contracts are not and they are actually destroying the economy,” Michael Makuei Lueth, the information minister, told reporters after a cabinet meeting” said Michael Makuei in a statement seen by the Nyamilepedia.
On June 21, 2019, President Kiir formed an inquiry committee headed by the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia, the team was tasked with investigating pre-sales regime and reports it findings to the President as soon as possible.
In other reports, South Sudan security service has confiscated property that are suspected to belong to the former minister’s his elder brother in Ethiopia.
Both the minister and his elder brother are accused of having bought expensive property in Ethiopia and USA within the last two years.