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Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth was Sacked Over Corruption and Mismanagement of South Sudan Oil Sector 23 hours ago

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June 15th, 2019(SSNN) — South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum, Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, has been fired just in less than three years over what has surfaced as a case of corruption and mismanagement of the Ministry of “Oil”, the lifeline to the world’s youngest nation.

According to confidential reports extended to South Sudan News Now, Hon. Gatkuoth was fired while on a government mission to Nigeria after some elderly politicians, identified to be members of the Jieng Council of Elders, “pushed the president to fire Mr. Gatkuoth to teach him a lesson”

The Confident reports narrated cases of lump sum transfer of oil money into individuals accounts including a bank account that was traced to belong to Lol’s elder brother Mr. Ruei Gatkuoth and other government officials including the bank account of the president, Salva Kiir, Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Jok Riak, President Advisor on Security, Hon. Tut Kew Gatluak Manime, Minister of Defense, Gen, Kuol Manyang, Information Minister, Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth  and other senior officials in the government clusters.

“Hon. Lol Gatkuoth started well. He is hardworking and good at marketing South Sudan in oil sector but he went too far and beyond. According to our records, Lol has been silently transferring oil money from overseas, before they even arrive in the country, to individual accounts. He started first with our president, then other senior government officials, and then the senior generals in the army and now he is transferring big chunks of national money into his family and friends accounts. This is what we thought, the president should stop once and for all”

According to the confidential report, the transfer of oil money into individuals’ accounts triggered rumours, which are brewing into political feuds within the inner circle of the president between the alleged “beneficiaries” and those who are aggrieved by what appears to be a false alarm.

The confidential report also alleged that Mr. Gatkuoth used his position to empower his elder brother, family and friends.

The report singles out Lol’s brother, who has obtained high military ranks of Colonel or General without prior military training.

The same brother has also been flagged for corruption as he is accused of being used by his brother as a middleman between the Ministry and oil businesses that are being awarded oil contract.

Mr. Ruei Gatkuoth, whose occupation on his passport is identified as “government official”, was made the contact person between El Hadi’s HoldCorp oil firm, which won oil contracts for the new oil Block E2 in Unity State, and the Ministry of Petroleum against the knowledge of the president and other senior officials in the Ministry.

According to reports from the office of the president, President Kiir was disgusted with how the Ministry is being run like a personal property with very little consultation with the president.

“Amb. Gatkuoth has signed many contracts that no body has full clue about, not even the president. He runs up and down, day and night, but not every contracts that he signs was worth signing. These contracts need qualified economists to evaluate them and then after they are ascended to the president and approved, the minister can go ahead with signing but Amb. Lol does it his own way”. The insiders narrates

“In 10 to 15 years, all these bad decisions will come back to haunt South Sudan. We need to be careful, many greedy vultures out there want to take advantage of our desperation due to this ongoing conflict. The Ministry of Petroleum under Amb. Lol lacked both competency and adequate time to make genuine decisions” Part of the confident reports read

The officials further accuse Mr. Gatkuoth of using his booming ministry to deprive and bully other ministries.

In the past few months, Mr. Gatkuoth had media altercation with the Minister in charge of Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Ms. Sophia Pal Gai.

Without consultation with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Hon. Gatkouth pumped some of his oil money into digging boreholes in Juba to eradicate water shortage in the city; however, Miss Pal got offended by what appeared to be a boastful attitude from Amb. Lol when he inaugurated his big projects without inviting or acknowledging the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.

Pal escalated the issue to media and also to president Kiir and urged him to tame his minister, and now the officials believe the president has responded.

From Prison to Ministry of Petroleum

Mr. Gatkuoth has served under President Salva Kiir before as the South Sudan ambassador to Washington, a position in which he was also accused of corruption, nepotism and “running it like a personal property”; however, Mr. Lol defected when he was relieved in 2013 to become a close ally to Dr. Riek Machar and that led to his arrest in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir staged a coup on his opponents.

Since his release in April 2014, Mr. Lol and his colleagues, also known as G10 or former detainees, fled to diaspora to tarnish the image of President Kiir and that of South Sudan over the December 2013 crises.

Until early 2016, Mr. Gatkuoth kept his distance from the presidency, however, a glimpse chance presented itself in mid 2016 when Mr. Lol and General Taban Deng Gai allied to president Kiir to kill or oust president Kiir’s main political rival, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the then First Vice President.

The ousting of Dr. Machar in July 2016 came with big rewards, some of which include Ministry of Petroleum, First Vice President and Deputy Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs, among others; however, times seems to be running out as President Kiir prepares to recruit a new team to his inner circle.

Source: Nyamilepedia

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