South Sudan mulls currency change to fight graft
A technocrat in the National Assembly, who preferred anonymity, said the House was appalled by a recent Central Bank report about cash shortage in the banks, blamed on some corrupt politicians and military generals.
The report said the culprits had stashed the money in their homes as opposed to the financial institutions.
Some of the corrupt generals and politicians, the report claimed, had buried the money on their compounds, making it impossible to pay civil servants on time.
The report has prompted the National Assembly to look for alternatives to deal with the corrupt elites.
The Nation Assembly technocrat said the change of currency could force those who were hoarding money in their homes to take it to the banks, and be forced to account for it.
“Yes, when you change the currency, you give the time frame to collect the old notes and it should be a bit shorter time, so that it puts pressure on those who stock large sums of cash in their homes to surrender the money to the Central Bank,” he said.
He added that it would be another way of regulating cash transfers from the Central Bank, allowing it to accumulate sufficient amounts to regularly pay civil servants.
However, a human rights defender, Mr Peter Gai Manyoun, faulted the currency change strategy, saying it was not the best way to fight corruption.
He said peace and stability should be a priority for the war on graft to succeed.
“Even if the government changes the currency a million times, it will not end corruption in South Sudan if the war continues,” he said.