South Sudan Former Finance Minister Emptied Banks From Malakal All The Way To Juba

South Sudan Dhieu Dau Stephen Otieno George
Former minister of finance and economic planning for South Sudan, Hon. Stephen Dhieu Dau (left) and ATI chief executive officer, George Otieno

Here is a brief history of Stephen Dhieu who hails from Melut county, an administrative area in the far north, South Sudan. Like president Kiir, Stephen Dhieu Dau is from Dinka ethnic group of Apadang section that he also serves as a head of its community association because he carries heavy pocket that he generated from the state oil revenues and on the ground of enrichment-on-blood paradox. The Civil War in the country!

‘One of the most corrupt ministers in South Sudan’, Stephen Dhieu Dau, a self-proclaimed leading businessman in South Sudan owns ‘Juba Market Complex’ according to this article which was written by Vladimir Deng Mayen, the Former Director in the Ministry of Petroleum & Mining.’

In the series of president Salva Kiir’s appointments, Dhieu had been appointed by his “boss”, Salva Kiir, three times abound. Want to know what ministries he held? Explore as you read through!

Before Salva Kiir’s endless appointments could be landed on him, Dhieu Dau first served as a state minister of Finance and Economic planning in Upper Nile State (Malakal) during the gubernatorial reign of Hon. Dak Duop Bishok, the current chairman of SPLM/A-IO’s National Committee for Energy and Mining and again at the time of late Gen. Gatluak Deng Garang. There was a much bitterness and outcry in Malakal, Nasir, Renk..etc from the local civil servants, police, prison wardens, among many more. They could not receive their monthly salaries and/or even arrears. This is because state budgets meant for paying government staff, workers, and organized forces were either intentionally privately retained or delayed transporting from Juba.

The money he channeled away once arrived in Malakal to the private-policy-plans enclaved by a high level of corruption anthrax engineered and anchored by Hon. Stephen Dhieu at the time. Like the title of this article entails, Stephen Dhieu had emptied the bread basket(banks) of Upper Nile state through the state ministry of Finance and Economic planning in Malakal when he was its minister for two consecutive term under former two governors. He retained the position far too long not because of his merit or success of his then ministry but due to his close friendship with the President, a fellow Dinka man, who takes care of those who watch his back. There were numerous accusations back than that Dhieu was sharing the dividends of corruption from his ministry with the President’s “family” and hence, the longer he is retained, the larger the president’s pocket grows. So the governors had very little powers to remove him before they got removed!

During his two terms in office of the state’s most powerful institution, Dhieu had starved the entire state community that encompasses Burun (in Maban area), Dinka, eastern Nuer, and Shilluk. He instead lavished the state money into the personal accounts of politicians in return for political positions.

After president Kiir’s endless-serial-appointment was directed to him, he was then appointed as minister of Commerce and Industry in 2011, shortly after the independence by barely one month. Later in 2014, he was upgraded to the ministry of Petroleum and Mining which is quite higher in corruption and robbing deals than the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This is where Dhieu and Kiir’s close ties began to boom. Dinka elders from his Padang community and Warrap, the main beneficiaries who are the core of the Jieng Council of Elders, became the usual middlemen, exchanging messages and money between Kiir and Dhieu like toilet papers.

The incoming resources, especially the oil revenues from Bentiu area and Palouch are by no doubt pleasuring. This ministry also confirms higher stake in corruption and radical looting methodologically to the extent of denying the reality of economic hardship and collapse in the country. For instance, the recent sickly utterance of Ezekiel Lol, which he framed ‘the economy is booming’ is a live evidence.

You can (re)visit it here, in a painful memory of July 8, 2016, the tragic incidence in the state house (J1) and unconventional jump of Taban Deng to the post of the First Vice President (FVP), the ministry of Petroleum is the cause of the tragic inception of the Second Civil War which had driven Dr. Riek Machar barefoot to DRC. This is when Taban grieved, conspired, and danced in the middle of blood for a very simple reason of NOT being nominated by Dr. Riek Machar to the ministry of Petroleum -the terrifying stories of the ministry of Petroleum are quite more. They can only be inscribed in a big-side-book.

In a thread of alleviation and upgrading, in 2016, Stephen Dhieu was again alleviated to the ministry of Finance and Economic planning in the so-called Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) that had since then mercilessly collapsed altogether with the economy of the country in the Mid of that year.

On March 12, 2018, he was relieved by president Kiir who ONLY enjoys decrees more than bringing Peace and Stability back to the country. The decree had shocked and caught him by surprise. Contrastingly, the news of his firing is said to have been undergoing celebration by the Community Members of Apadang Section in Melut county, Juba, Khartoum, and beyond for some reasons unrelated to this paper. The successor of Stephen Dhieu, Salvatore Garang Mabior, also carries the same feather of corruption disease. Salvatore Garang is one of the richest people —millionaire in South Sudan. So South Sudanese people expect quite another huge upsurge in economic situation of South Sudan.

The collapse of the country’s economy is, however, a flame blame behind the legacy of Stephen Dhieu. His legacy is marred by a continuous outbreak of corruption anthrax. Visibly, the collapse of our country’s economy though there are some others, can be attributed to two factors:

First: The incompetence of the country’s minister of Finance and Economic planning. Since the breakdown of the economy from 2016 onwards, Stephen Dhieu have had lack of clear economic policy and financial control. For instance, the minister lacked a policy plan to regulate things like interest rates, price control in the local markets, for example, Konykonyo civil market and ‘economic stimulus plan’ which is beyond the scope of this paper. Although the entire regime of president Salva Kiir will always bear the primary blame and I can stress it is responsible for the dramatic collapse of the economy due to rampant corruption and creation of civil strife in the Country, Stephen Dhieu will never be an exception. He had incapably managed the affairs in the ministry concern regardless of his educational experience in economic studies. Stephen Dhieu holds a master of science in economics from Indian university but his economics policies are all political.

Also to explain the highest degree of incompetence in Kiir’s administration that led to total collapse of the economy, up to date, there is NO existing administration or ministry of Foreign Trade instead affairs of Foreign Trade are run by individuals in houses and along Uganda-Nimule border checkpoints and Warwar checkpoint (former Paul Malong’s stronghold). This is impossible in a landlock nation like South Sudan. Also, the market economy of South Sudan is entirely dependent on imports where consumer commodities are only brought in by lorries from abroad. Sadly, apart from oil, South Sudan export nothing further.

Second: the conflict in South Sudan that has forced millions to flee their homes. An economy does not want or make friendship with war. War in our country has robbed our economic stability though there had never been a better economic stability in South Sudan since independence instead war of interest was created by president Kiir in an attempt to silence critics and critique on issues of concern such as better economy, foreign trade, international relations, corruption, tribalism, name them. So I recommend that the ethnic-elitist group should accept peace in the country to loot our people peacefully.

The author can be reached via gatdietpeter90@outlook.com