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Jonglei deputy governor explains why Kiir is a final appointing authority

Author: Yar Ajak | Published: Wednesday, April 12, 2023

President Salva Kiir. |Office of the President.

The deputy governor of Jonglei State has explained to people protesting the appointment of Bor County Commissioner that President Kiir is the final authority and no one can revert his decision in any appointment.

Jacob Akech Dengdit made his remarks In Bor town while addressing a group of protesters who had matched to his office to present their complaints.

The Protesters were protesting against the reappointment of the former Mayor, Samuel Ateny Pech as the new County Commissioner.

They alleged that the former Mayor was involved in land grabbing in the state capital.

Last month, governor Denay Jock Chagor relieved the former Mayor of Bor town, Samuel Ateny Pech in a gubernatorial order amid disputed leasing of public land to investors in the state capital.

A week later, Ateny Pech was appointed by President Salva Kiir as the Commissioner of Bor County in a cabinet reshuffle announced on the State-run television SSBC.

On Monday morning, the protesters took to the streets in Bor town holding posters calling for the removal of Commissioner Ateny Pech and Deputy Governor Akec Deng.

Addressing the protesters in the state Capital, the deputy governor stated that the president was the final authority and no one should revert his appointment.

He went ahead to say that the people appointed by the president were his recommendation of people that would work with him and serve the people.

“When Amer Ateny was appointed were you called upon as a community? No…. When Dr. Riek was appointed were you consulted? No…! Did you refuse? No…! What will bring confusion is what we don’t want,” said Deputy Governor Akec Deng.

“What I did is to recommend the people that I want to work with and serve you, So, the president went and appointed them as SPLM members. Does anyone have a question? No…! Who is more powerful than Kiir? No one…!.”

When President Kiir appointed the state governors, he delegated his powers to the governors to deal with state appointments.

But according to the South Sudan constitution, as amended, the position of the Mayor and county commissioners are supposed to be elected.

Philip Anyang Ng’ong, a lawyer stated what the law says about the various positions under the local government.

“The local government act is very clear on the structure of the local administrative unit which is often the mayor, commissioner, and the councilors. There is a framework under the local government on how to establish these institutions,” said Lawyer Anyang.

“The position of the commissioner and the mayor is supposed to be elected not appointed or nominated, But because South Sudan is not in a position to conduct elections so there is that belief that anyone in the right authority can appoint. And that has been the practice.”

This is not the first-time leadership wrangles have been seen in Jonglei State.

In the previous records, differences between the former deputy governor Antipas Nyok and opposition-nominated governor Denay Chagor had made headlines in the media as Nyok has reportedly refused to cooperate with his boss.

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