Jonglei governor, deputy disagree over investigation of ex-mayor

Jonglei State governor Denay Jock Chagor (left) and his deputy Jacob Akech Dengdit. [Photo courtesy]
Jonglei State governor Denay Jock Chagor (left) and his deputy Jacob Akech Dengdit. [Photo courtesy]

BOR, OCTOBER 23, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – The governor of South Sudan’s Jonglei State, Denay Jock Chagor, and his deputy, Jacob Akech Dengdit, have disagreed over the formation, by Chagor, of an investigation committee aimed at looking into land mismanagement by former Bor Mayor.

On October 19, Chagor formed a high-level committee headed by James Mawich Makuach and deputized by state minister of land Abraham Mamer Kur to investigate ex-mayor of Bor town Samuel Ateny Pech over mismanagement.

Chagor in a gubernatorial order dated October 19 said he formed the committee based on provisions of article 99 of the Jonglei State constitution and article 43 of the land act of 2009.

He tasked the committee to investigate land auctioning, sell agreement, and payment from companies and individuals during the tenure of Ateny as Bor Mayor.

The order also ordered the committee to suspend ongoing activities in Public Toilets on plot number 88, Women Group Vegetable plots number 282 & 444, and Zain Company headquarters on plots number 18, and 2.

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In reaction, Chagor’s deputy Dengdit rejected the order describing it as unilateral decision from the state governor.

He said the formation of the committee “lack of consultation, and approval by the council of ministers” which he said is the supposed procedure under the provision of the revitalized peace agreement and directives of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

He further added that the formation of the investigation committee is politically motivated saying it damages the image of ex-mayor Pech.

“The decision of forming the investigation committee is politically motivated” and “everyone is very much aware of personal differences between you and the former Mayor Hon. Samuel Ateny that led to his dismissal as the Lord Mayor in March 2023,” he said in the letter addressed to the governor.

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“Therefore, the formation of the committee to investigate the former mayor over charges of land issues that you didn’t quote during his relief are highly politically motivated with the intention to frame, defame him in order to prevent him from being sworn-in as Bor County Commissioner,” he added

For his part, prominent activist Bol Deng Bol urged the state governor Chagor and the high-level committee to execute their duties without fear or favor.

“In normal circumstances, a responsible Government is expected to promote and protect local infant businesses against unfair competitors (Foreign Business Firms and other big businesses). Not doing the opposite, such as this case of Women Group,” he said

“I am therefore, appealing to the Deputy Governor H. E. Akech J. Dengdit, to cooperate with the Governor and allow the investigation to carry on smoothly. The public is left in the dark and they deserve to know,” Bol who is the Chairperson of Jonglei Civil Society Network (JCSN) added.

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The activist further urged the deputy governor to respect the gubernatorial decision to investigate malpractices.

“Rejecting this Gubernatorial order for investigation might make you look like a beneficiary in this scandal. If you have other grudges with the Governor, please seek other means to trade them, not through this, my unsolicited advice,” he said.

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