South Sudan: Lakes State Ex-Governor Exit - What Were His Leadership Woes?

On 21st January 2013, the President of the Republic Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit decreed relieve of Lakes State elected Governor Eng. Chol Tong Mayay on undeclared allegations in connection to recent upsurge of inter-sectional conflict between Kuei and Rup of Rumbek Central County.

Public reaction in Lakes and in Juba was synonymous cheering for this action, which they said was long overdue if accountability and political morality was anything to do with actions by leaders in South Sudan.

Just the next day, the President again appointed Maj. Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol as caretaker Governor till further directive, the decree urged. It is important to highlight and clarify to those who have no clue of Lakes state political dynamics and what warranted removal of elected Governor and if it is in line with provisions in South Sudan Transitional Constitution July 2011.

Article 101(r) gives South Sudan president to relieve any elected Governor of the ten states in event of Security augment threatening national security in full or otherwise.

This was true with times of former Governor Eng. Chol Tong Mayay during whose tenure was marred by several on-slaughter security incidents.

From time he assumed office as elected Governor; insecurity magnified and reached unprecedented levels with children and women being killed directly and on revenge rampage between Cueibet and Rumbek Centre in 2011. It is a new phenomenon in Lakes State's cultural dimension and traditions. The then Governor did too little to control this state.

In Rumbek East County in 2011, sectional feud which has had lasted for eleven years, took a different bearing with assault being carried into villages, than it used to be in cattle camps. This was true by the date of 16 - 18th January 2013 between Kuei and Rup sections of Rumbek Central County when assailants almost hit Rumbek town centre when they reached 5 kilometers away from town center, which is the capital of Lakes state.

The ex-Governor was elected on the ticket of SPLM which won almost all seats across the country in 2010. The major victory wasn't on personal prowess, but for a party SPLM on a send-mission by public to accomplish what liberation struggle has left as hangover. The ex-Governor was picked among other eight candidates then with hope that the man wasn't as crude as his colleagues who has had left education at secondary level or below to join rebellion.

The ex-Governor is a Russian trained gent, who has proven beyond vile gossip that Russians do not care of what public requires of their leadership or public interest first, but rather leader's interest as paramount. This was true with ex-Governor Eng. Chol Tong Mayay for the last two and half years of his ghastly leadership.

He did nothing for us public in Lakes state. For all hopes and trust we have had vested in him that he would quench, but we were disappointed and paid with horrific death toll on daily basis. Bleak and gloomy future was insight for Lakes state present and next generations.

I would like my readers to not only look at the end result as of sacking of Eng. Chol Tong as being elected Governor as unconstitutional or that too much powers having been vested into President's hands to strike as he would be pleased, but look at deeds of those we have entrusted with our affairs as Governors or MPs and ministers.

Are they doing anything for the interest of our public? You have the answers!

The ex-Governor was contemplated to make slightest changes for Lakes State in development, political turmoil, shattered education, imaginary health care, lip service delivery and most wanted Security, Peace and Reconciliation, economic growth needs. List is long, but nothing!

But rather things went amok, and from bad to worst with his predecessor Lt. Gen. Awet Akot, who once told church audience in 2010 that, one day, public of Lakes state will recall and say, "Chol nguen Awet!" Literally meaning, Chol has had become the worst more than Awet.

Did absence of all these mentioned above not contributed to removal of the so-called elected ex-Governor of Lakes state? You are the judge.

However, on 14th November 2010, our ex-Governor signed in PalmTree Hotel 27 million US dollars, as contribution from European Union, Japanese Government, Italian Cooperation, UNMIS rule of Law department, meaning for building security structures. Where did this money go to? Allegations went wild that it was corrupted and its corrupt means were leaked out by Sudanese TV channel Al Shorouq. The ex-Governor talked too mouthy accusing the TV channel of defamation and for scandal that was not factual, promising to sue the TV channel.

But till 2011, and to the time of ex-Governor removal, nothing has been heard. It is up to you to analyses where this money is? Oh! Someone close to the then government told me that ex-Governor owns fleet of vehicles totaling to over thirty tracking Juba's roads on business!

Just days after the so-called elected Governor removal, Anti-Corruption Commission organized a one day workshop under public accountability debate on 1st February 2013.

An amount of (14, 171,000 million SSP) fourteen million one hundred seventy thousand South Sudanese meant for civil servants pension is said to have been loaned by the then government under this so-called elected Governor Eng. Chol Tong Mayay. The Russian groomed and trained is standing accused by Lakes state public! Can someone tell us what has this money loaned for?

The ex-Governor is answerable! Many and I have had thought that ex-Governor would use his Techno knowledge and skills for Lakes state betterment, but nothing and his legacy remain for us youths to determine what it was and will be in history of our state and South Sudan as whole.

Mabior W. Makuek lives in Rumbek. He is reachable at

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