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Landlord to evict protesting students from South Sudan embassy in Zimbabwe over rent

Unaware of an outstanding eviction notice due to months of unpaid rent, South Sudanese students in Zimbabwe have been camping and occupying – in protest – the embassy there for over a month demanding payment of their tuition fees, their allowance and, for some civil serving students – their salaries back home.

Continue reading “Landlord to evict protesting students from South Sudan embassy in Zimbabwe over rent”

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Sacked rebel commanders decide to ‘take time off and go for further studies’

The two rebel commanders sacked from their positions a few weeks ago have decided not to resist their dismissal, but instead take time off and (in pursuit of knowledge) arm themselves with only pens and books for post-doctoral studies in Resource Management and Governance as a tool for Conflict Prevention, Execution and/or Resolution at an undisclosed university abroad.

Continue reading “Sacked rebel commanders decide to ‘take time off and go for further studies’”

1000 Tractors doomed to rot and decay due to lack of funds, will not be used this planting season

The 1000 tractors recently acquired by the Government South Sudan under suspicious and shady circumstances, appear to be heading straight to the ‘tractor graveyards’ of South Sudan after the National Ministry of Agriculture announced it does not have the necessary funds to start distribution of the tractors. Continue reading “1000 Tractors doomed to rot and decay due to lack of funds, will not be used this planting season”

Top 10 Saakam Stories 2014

The top 10 stories

Kenya to grant honourary citizenship to child of Warrap State governor born there

A PS'd screenshot of KTN Newsdesk as they would have broken the news
A PS’d screenshot of KTN Newsdesk as they would have broken the news

The four-month old son of Warrap State Governor Madam Nyandeng Malek is set to be awarded honorary citizenship of Kenya by the Municipality of Nairobi for being the 100th child of a South Sudanese senior government official born  in  one of the private hospitals Nairobi in this year.

As the only serving female governor in South Sudan, Madam Nyandeng Malek recently gave birth to the honourable baby boy, her blessed fifth child, in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi some 1400 km away from her workplace (an exercise regularly carried out by other Warrap residents at their own home, clinics or even out in the field whilst harvesting at this time of year).

The cost of one birth in Kenya at a private clinic such as this would have funded (according to studies) the development of maternity facilities for all women in Kuajok, the capital of her state, including the training of midwives for one whole year.

This announcement of the honorary citizenship award comes just days after Child-Rights activists in South Sudan called for her immediate resignation from office for, among other things, being an unpatriotic leader for choosing to labour in a foreign country; abandoning a new-born baby in Nairobi; and failing to provide the very basic of health care facilities for the poor mothers and children in her very own state who are not as privileged as her child and ‘other people like her’.

According to an official with the award, the Municipality of Nairobi also wants to appreciate and encourage the steady and increasing stream of revenue brought in by South Sudanese officials (and businessmen & pregnant women) who frequent expensive private hospitals, schools, housing and leisure facilities in Nairobi – which must be pointed out that officials have failed to set up remotely similar facilities or services in their own communities in South Sudan.

(left) Madam Nyandeng Malek, and (right) an irrelevant bald South-Sudan who has not be photoshoped out of the picture to draw view attention to what he is looking at (source: gurtong)
(left) Madam Nyandeng Malek, and (right) an irrelevant bald South-Sudanese who has not been photoshop-ed out of the picture just to draw viewer attention to what he is looking at
(source: gurtong)

As an elected leader of the community, others argued, giving birth in the South Sudan or, even better, her own state would have instilled some confidence in the national health service and encouraged others to make use (and thus improve) the facilities at home.

Others, however, think the governor has the right to keep her new-born baby wherever she pleases as patriotism has nothing to do where a child is conceived, born or bred.

“If African presidents go and die in Europe, why can’t a governor go to a neighbouring country to give birth or even conceive for that matter?”

Three South Sudanese prevented from boarding MH17 that crashed

International media running the story Photo:herenthere
International media running the story of the three who almost made it
Photo:herenthere

As the world continues to mourn the 298 victims killed when the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine this week, three South Sudanese who were supposed to board the flight are still stranded in Amsterdam waiting to be deported back to South Sudan via Kenya after being prevented from boarding.

The three, believed to have been ‘awarded’ academic sponsorships by PETRONAS, a Malaysian oil and gas company, arrived Amsterdam from Juba, South Sudan via Kenya a day earlier but were prevented from boarding the connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur after airport staff, in coordination with PETRONAS Education Sponsorship Unit, noticed some ‘suspicious irregularities’ and inconsistencies that prompted an investigation into their academic sponsorship claims and reasons for visiting Malaysia.

The sponsorship program demands that applicants meet a strict set of conditions, but experience has shown that through the unregulated and corrupt practices of the governments like the one in South Sudan, some of those who finally arrive Kuala Lumpa have not seen or do not remember how the inside of a classroom looks like.

Students have to be between 17-23 years of age, with a ‘good command of written and spoken’ English, and (not compulsory but helpful), an understanding that phrases like ‘my father is a minister’ do not work beyond the borders of South Sudan.

Last year, the sponsors together with the airlines decided to cross examine all student-visa bearers especially from South Sudan, Nigeria, and Libya before entering Malaysia – a move that has saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars, but still continue to rob the countries (and those qualified) of opportunities.

Saakam has now gathered that two of the three are half-siblings, sons of a late general and relatives of a senior official in the ministry of Education in South Sudan. The third is a 50-something year old on-and-off SPLA soldier and long time bodyguard of the late general and father of the other two. The last time the ex-combatant went to school was in 1987 when he was ordered to pick up and evacuate the children of this boss during an attack by enemies forces in Torit – a garrison town under the command of the general.

This is not the first time sponsored academic opportunities have become victim to the shame-deficient and numbingly corrupt officials of the government of South Sudan.

Deng Gatbel an affected citizen said, “Our officials do not give chances to citizens in a better way. Many have applied for sponsorships announce by the same government but they take nobody but their sons and their cousins to study those courses abroad. Our leaders like good things only for themselves these are golden chances but they can be easily corrupted.” [quote Gurtong]

PETRONAS has disassociated itself from the three and KLM, the airlines that got them to the Netherlands, has been slapped with a small fine. Preparations are under-way to safely return the three to South Sudan.

PETRONAS is expected to review the program at the end of the year and make a decision based on the findings whether to renew the program or explore other alternatives.

Under the academic sponsorship, South Sudan can specialize in seven areas which include chemical engineering, civil engineering, Tech- Petroleum geosciences, Tech- information and communications technology and others.

Had they boarded MH17, they would have been the 299th,300th and 301st passengers – the only Africans and South Sudanese on the list.

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