Machar Accuses Government Of Embezzling $ 4.5 Billion

Former Vice president Dr. Riek Machar (second from right) with SPLM officials addressing the media in Juba on Friday 6 December 2013. [Waakhe Simon Wudu]

Riek was sacked together with the entire cabinet in July this year and has said that there was no debt loaned in the figure of $4.5 last year. (READ: South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Sacks VP Riek Machar, Dissolves Cabinet

He said that up until his sacking on July 23, the Cabinet had not had any approval for borrowing of such a loan.

Last month South Sudanese Minister of Finance, Aggrey Tisa, told the press that government could not pay two months salaries for civil servants – October and November – because it is using the oil revenues to repay the loan $4.5 billion borrowed last year when the country plunged into austerity measures. (READ: Minister Says Oil Money Is For Loan Repayment, No Salaries)

“The government of South Sudan is misleading the public that it is servicing the 4.5 billion USD debts,” Riek told press in Juba.

Prior to his sacking as VP, Riek said there were borrowings that were made but not to the tune of $ 4.5 billion.

He explained that, there was a borrowing of 2 billion South Sudanese Pounds when the government adopted austerity measures, 900 million loaned domestically from banks within the country, $250million from Chinese oil companies in April and $ 200million also a foreign borrowing.

“It is not known where these monies [$4.5billion USD] were loaned from and on what they were spent as the country has been under austerity regime since April 2012,” said Riek.

“This is definitely a question of corruption that must be addressed together with the dura saga, the shady road contracts and the issue of the 75 letters of defamation of SPLM historical leaders and cadres,” he added.

South Sudan in January last year shutdown its key revenue producer, oil after it won independence in July 2011.

The fledgling nation then accused Khartoum of looting the resource, oil compelling for the shutdown.

Government resorted to operating under austerity measures, putting it at a hard economic path ahead of several post secession issues pending and several challenges in building the new nation.

In 2015 the country is slated to hold national presidential elections. Riek has expressed interest to challenge Kiir to be the SPLM Presidential candidate in the elections.

Efforts to reach the government spokesperson for a response on the allegations were futile as the phone calls could not get through. 

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