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‘Is the anti-corruption commission really doing its work?’

Members of public and activists protest against corruption in 2012.

Some members of the public are asking whether the anti-corruption commission is really functional.

The South Sudan Anti-corruption Commission was established in 2006 under Section 147 of the Interim Constitution.

Though it does not have prosecutorial powers, the commission has a mandate to protect public property and investigate cases of corruption with a view to protecting public property as well as in the private sector and combating administrative malpractices in public institutions.

Recently, some corruption allegations were reported by the media; this include suspension of senior government officials at the Ministries of Finance and General Education over loss of money meant for public use.

“I’ve heard of the Anti-corruption Commission, but I do not know whether they are really doing their work,” says John, a resident of Juba.

The U.S based anti-money laundering group last year published a shocking report that implicated several former and current government officials of squandering public funds.

It reported that senior government and military officers purchased properties outside the country, despite the dire economic situation of the county.

All these revelations have made the public question why the South Sudan anti-corruption commission has not been able to highlight them.

“I’m concerned about the anti-corruption commission because we as citizens of South Sudan want to benefit from the resources of these country,” said Mary, who resides at Juba’s Munuki area.

She said such stories should be revealed by the South Sudanese anticorruption body, instead of a foreign based institution.

Those who spoke to Eye Radio say believe the commission has been dormant despite such corruption cases being heard:

“I last heard of Anti-corruption Commission in 2013, and of which there are a lot of cases of corruption which are happening in the country and even the body itself has lost control and is not having powers to control or to talk about it,” added one Joshua.

In an attempt to independently verify these claims, Eye Radio visited the anticorruption premises located at the Rock City area in Juba on Monday and Tuesday.

The visit to the commission’s offices found little activity compared to earlier visit before the conflict of 2013.

The commission’s office is divided into two buildings which are separated by a road.

There was no sound of generator or sign of electricity. On the other premises, more than 10 cars were covered in thick dust. And almost all of them had flat tires, some did not have wheels.

An office worker who wants to remain anonymous told us that the computer server meant to store information has been off since 2013.

In the offices, some computers were also seen on the tables without people.

The source also revealed that many of the staff has left the commission for other jobs.

(Identities of the sources have been withheld for security reasons)