“Here in South Sudan, we have two problems: Rats and Government”, the concentration of economic power in the hands of the state to direct economic activity and the whole battery of controls of prices, exchange rates, interest rates and other economic variables not only destroyed in South Sudan’s economies but also had an unintended but inevitable consequences.
Officially, price controls were supposed to make commodities “affordable to the masses.” But only the ruling elites and their cronies could purchase commodities at government-controlled prices, which were later resold in the black market known as ‘Suk -El-Asuod’ to reap a huge profit, a practice known as kalabule in Ghana.
The richest opportunity, however, was offered by import controls, which were intended to curtail the volume of imports and thereby conserve the scarce foreign exchange needed to import machinery and other equipment essential for the development but later used for purchasing weapons for reducing the population by conducting a senseless war of power greedy.
To import an item, a permit or a license was required from the ministry of trade and commerce. The licenses quickly became scarce. The ministers and government officials at trade ministry demanded bribes of 20 percent of the value of the import licenses before issuing them and the remaining 80 percent goes into unknown pockets. This killed the citizens and consumers rights of enjoying tradable goods at their own expenses. The implications of these practice of a hike in dollars in the black market (as U$D 100 goes for SSP 1,600) had led to many of our students who were depending on South Sudan very undesirable time out of school.
Over a time, the South Sudan as a youngest nation on planet earth evolved into predatory monster that used a convoluted system of regulations and controls to pillage and the rob the productive class—the peasantry . The victims of this grand larceny were helpless; the crimes against them were hidden because they will stage a coup if their names appear on the list or report of investigation. No media to report such cases because the media house is government entity. The rule of law was non-existent. Judges are also appointed by the government and few of the crooks were brought to justice. So the rot continues…