Gen Hoth Mai-Former Army Chief of General Staff. Gen Malong Awan, Incumbent Army Chief of SPLA.
Company and government documents obtained by African Press had indicated that the top SPLA generals used their positions to secure a loan of hundreds of thousands of pounds from an SPLA finance officer for their privates companies in side and out the countries to maintain their extended families welfare.
Most of SPLA generals are polygamists who can not survives with embezzlement of ordinaries soldier’s liltes salaries. This have been a practice since interception of the country. Soldiers use to be seen to front lines and stay there for 6 to a year without getting their salaries.
Such a misappropriation of armies salaries and others high level corruption lead to arrest and dismissal several generals in the SPLA affairs. The list is very long but the following reports is one among the many corruption practices.
Maj-Gen. Johnson Juma (“JJ”) Okot has since been removed from his post as Division 6 commander and the finance officer, Lt-Col. Lual Bol Kuan, was arrested last year for misappropriating salaries meant for soldiers of an SPLA unit based in Rumbek.
The ousted division commander earlier used his influence in the military to secure a multi-million pound contract for his company.
An “Agreement Letter” from Africana Iwire’s Managing Director Waramoyi Benard says that Okot directed Lt-Col. Lual Bol Kuan to loan him 235,000 SSP, which would be repaid after the finance ministry paid Okot an amount of more than two million that he was claiming from the government.
This letter is dated 29 July 2015. It explains that Maj-Gen. Okot issued a “directive” to the more junior officer to loan him the money, but it also describes the arrangement as an “agreement”. Sources say that Okot took the 235,000 SSP to pay accumulated unpaid taxes, which his company had allegedly failed to pay to government. A tax document obtained by African Press appears to corroborate this figure.
SPLA officer threatens to take General Okot to court
Later in the year, Lt-Col. Lual, after his arrest, sought legal help to reclaim the money from Maj-Gen. Okot. His lawyer Agok Makur warned Africana Iwire to repay the amount of 235,000 SSP.
“You promised to pay it back after you get payment from the Ministry of Finance. Unfortunately, up to now, you have failed to pay back this amount of money which has affected my client,” Agok Makur wrote on 22 December 2015 in a warning letter threatening legal action.
Lual Bol remains under arrest. Sources said the money that he allegedly misappropriated was meant for SPLA Brigade 17 Division 6, a unit that rioted in October 2015 after missing its salary payment for the month of June 2015.
Food supplies deal
General Okot’s loan agreement appears to be connected to a larger financial arrangement between himself and the Defence Ministry. Okot was seeking repayment for a contract that his company Africana Iwire claimed to have performed to supply food to SPLA in 2012. But the finance ministry wanted Okot to pay back taxes before paying out the more than two million pound contract.
The general needed 235,000 SSP in order to secure a go-ahead for the payout to Africana Iwire. As early as mid-2014, a top official in the finance ministry had recommended that the company be paid for the contract, but it took more than year before the payment was actually approved.
Ministry of Finance Legal Advisor Afaf Ismail Ibrahim issued a legal opinion to the finance minister on 25 June 2014 saying that “Africa Iwire Enterprises Co. Ltd has right to be paid the amount of SSP 2,650,450.”
A first payment of 300,000 SSP was then paid to Africa Iwire in February 2015, according to a payment document. The balance of 2,350,450 SSP was approved for payment on 26 August 2015, according to a finance ministry payment claim form, describing the expense as “Cost of food supplies to SPLA forces.”
A letter written on the same day by the Acting Undersecretary in the Ministry of Defence Maj Gen. Morris Lokule explained that Africa Iwire “was contracted supply food rations to the SPLA forces of GHQs, Juba for a period of six months from March to August 2012.”
“The Company successfully executed the supply according to the terms and conditions agreed in the contract,” said Lokule. However, in recent interviews, some government sources contested this, saying Okot’s company never delivered the contracted goods and services.
Other officers have also reportedly been investigated in relation to the deal including Brigadier General John Malith, the head of finance and administration of SPLA Division 6.