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Sunday, December 27, 2015

South Sudanese pound is finally buried

By PAL CHOL

             
South Sudanese pound
"I know South Sudan has many qualified economists, some of whom are talented and renowned Dinka academicians. Why are they not appointed to correct this economic mess instead of rotating failed individuals, who were dismissed on charges of having not delivered and on rampant corruption? We would have no objection if any of these qualified economists is appointed from the same area, as is always the case, given the wealth of knowledge they have." 



The 15th December 2015, marks the darkest and the most tragic moment when the South Sudanese pound got ‘buried.’ It is tragic in the sense that this day coincided with the commemoration of the December 2013 massacre of innocent civilians in Juba. The Honorable Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, along with the Central Bank Governor, has put the last nail on our pound’s coffin and laid it to rest. The dollar became the most dominant in essence. An ambiguous quotation table said the official rate of selling in the bank is 18.5 and buying is 18.75. 


There is no logic here because if you get it in the bank at the quoted rate, you are free to sell it at any rate as you wish because it is an open and uncontrolled market. I thank the two big men in their capacities for the hard work they have been doing to kill and bury the economy of this country under the watchful eyes of our President. If they don't know, they have caused too much suffering to the people of this country. 

I couldn't believe it when my Facebook friend shared it with me on the link. Our pound is badly depreciated against the dollar for the good of the few. The reaction in the town including the die-hard supporters of the SPLM-IG is that the decision is a throat-cutting move and that these are people who want to tarnish the image of the government. I am excited because it would affect all the people including some Dinka elites for whom it was a stone's throw to obtain it and whose children study and live lavishly in Nairobi and Uganda. I asked an intimate Dinka friend whether the President is aware about this move. I called him an intimate friend because he called me during the 2013 massacre to ask whether I was safe or not. He said he had no idea. 

The most critical question that poses itself here too is: what is the security sector in-charge of the national economy thinking about this depreciating pound and its impact on the lives of the people? The strange thing is that the current Finance Minister held the same docket before the President fell out with his colleagues and longtime comrades in the SPLM and the government. It is to be recalled here that the stormy dissolution of the entire cabinet including the former VP swept him away for failure to deliver and corruption. Comrade Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, then a presidential adviser on economic affairs, was appointed as the finance minister and many people thought his appointment was going to be a panacea for the economic and dollar crisis, unfortunately a lot of strikes and sits-in followed until he was fired in a presidential decree. Goodness knows! who advised the president again to reappoint somebody who has not achieved anything before, knowing that this is a lifeline Ministry?

I know South Sudan has many qualified economists, some of whom are talented and renowned Dinka academicians. Why are they not appointed to correct this economic mess instead of rotating failed individuals, who were dismissed on charges of having not delivered and on rampant corruption? We would have no objection if any of these qualified economists is appointed from the same area, as is always the case, given the wealth of knowledge they have.

 The Central Bank Governor was pensioned in the old united Sudan because he reached the retirement age according to the public service regulations. The President appointed him again to take charge of our Bank because blood is thicker than water. It is not wrong as this is not the first of its kind but the President would have appointed a young economist who might be more updated to make our economy compete with the rest of the world. 

However, who could have risked his life opposed the presidential decisions-pan Africanism? As somebody who had served the South Sudanese then, he deserved to be accommodated as an honor somewhere to make ends meet. The science students and teachers would agree with me that there is what we call "wear and tear" stage. Briefly, this means, there is a degeneration of the already regenerated cells as a result of aging. All the systems of the body will begin to wear down. The control unit of the whole body is in the CNS (Central Nervous system). What happens if we grow old? Our memories start to be affected specially if one has had a thrombolytic or ischaemic stroke. 

The Ministry of Finance and Central Bank call it a reform. What reforms when it is affecting the common man? Even if there is salaries increment, still it would not suffice to obtain a dollar because the black market dollar dealers would be free to sell at any rate and nobody would afford as some people salaries do not amount to get 50$.Dengdit made it loud and clear that there would be no official dollar rate against our pound and asked for patience. 

This means patience to die of hunger and for the families to separate as per to my understanding. It is a job well done Honorable Minister! You have conducted the last funeral rite of the pound you slaughtered against the dollar satisfactorily on the Eye radio. My message is that, let the people of South Sudan be hopeful because there is time for everything. Our appeal to H.E, the President is to intervene tooth and nail so as to resurrect our pound to regain its value. Our country has natural resources to make our money more valuable than the Kenyan or Ugandan Shillings with many zeros. Where does Dengdit and Uncle Koryom want to take us or do they have a hidden agenda? Let it be dug out because it seems it is another front against and waylaying the sitting government. If the aim is to incite the public against the government, the notion of Arab spring or popular uprisings to topple governments are not practical in our setting and cultures.

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Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and the website bears no claim as to the veracity of the facts claimed in the article. For comments, write to the writer at Pal Chol at palcholnyan@yahoo.com