21-September-2021

Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest

KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The fiscal authorities announcement that salaries of public servants would by increased by five folds has drawn a welcoming comment from columnist Abdelhameed Awad of Alsudani daily newspaper:

“The high jump in the public service salaries endorsed by the Government and committed to be implemented by the end of April, seems unbelievable to the public servants. And they have a right in this, because they were accustomed over the last thirteen years to hear empty promises, negligence and carelessness from the defunct regime. Bashir and his establishment had used to fly empty promises that very soon evaporate in the air. Personally, I do not feel surprised by this government move. Also I don’t feel the revolution’s government deserves any thanks for this measure. That is because it did not create a miracle: The fall of the corrupt regime has saved billions of pounds that used to be spent on trivial things. For instance, the defunct regime had used to confine its spending to the ruling party, political briberies, empty daily political gatherings and festivals, all of which were meant to create an atmosphere of festivity to raise the morale of the head of the regime. That money was also spent on illusionary incentives, travel expenses and the unfeasible travel of government officials. Just imagine that multitudinous army of constitutional posts holders. We cannot also forget the open door for corruption before the government supporters without any accountability.”

And when the revolution had triumphed, it was natural that unnecessary spending would be squeezed. There is no wonder in that. It is natural that government earnings be directed towards the manpower, by increasing their salaries and enhancing their livelihoods.

In return, we want an improvement in the public service performance. After this increase in their pay, we expect the public servants to commit to the job regulations and see themselves as the servants of the people who pay them to work.

After these pay hikes, the Government should also seek to discipline any government employee who neglects his duty, be he a medical doctor, a university professor or a garbage collector.

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Beware AlKaizan once and the Revolutionary Front a thousand times, wrote veteran columnist Hassan Warrag in the daily Aljareeda.

(The term Alkaizan is an old slander nickname the pubic uses to describe the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood, cum-the Islamic Front-cum-the National Congress Party that ruled the country for thirty years  by a military government.)

Wrote Hassan Warrag: “It is now confirmed that the real enemies of the Revolution are those who sleep with it on one bed, talking its language, showing enmity to its enemies to the extent that one feels sometimes they are more hostile to the revolution’s enemies than the true revolutionaries.”

“The Revolutionary Front (a grouping of rebel movements now engaged in peace talks with the Government in Juba, South Sudan) had spent much of their lifetimes claiming to struggle against the defunct regime from beyond the borders until it fell down, without scoring any victory that counts. All they did was coax or blackmail the regime that exploited their internal feuding to implode and shatter them from within.

Now the remnants of the defunct regime are exploiting this Front to hinder the transitional government. In the way they are talking to the Government, they will not reach a peace formula for many reasons: The present situation of no peace no war is convenient to them. Personally they will not gain from the Revolution’s government a position better than what they enjoy now.

It is incredible that the Juba Peace talks would drag on for eight months, while nobody would know what they would lead to. Nobody knows when these talks would come to a close.

All indications show that the parties to these talks are in close ties with the remnants of the defunct regime and the opposition forces, in particular if we know that an armed faction of the Revolutionary Front is in a close relationship with the opposition Popular Congress Party who paid them heavily to arrest and keep the talks in a state of impasse.

What has really annoyed the remnants of the defunct regime was the government’s decision to appoint civilian state governors, because the present military rulers are just an extension of the fallen regime, receiving military orders from higher circles that have no relation with the popular revolution. These military governors have handicapped the progress of the revolution in the regions.

We urge the Prime Minister to announce the civilian governors and proceed with the formation of the echelons of civilian rule. The government is also required to speed up the dismantling of the defunct regime’s power in the regions and should not be deterred by the threats of those who have (struggled) for years and could not kill a fly.

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 In the Tahreer electronic publication, writer Yousif Alsondy commented on last week’s decision confiscating a lot of unlawfully acquired properties of operatives of the defunct regime:

“Last Monday the committee assigned to dig into the corruption of the previous regime had revealed how corrupt these people who claimed to be devout Muslims were.  

The committee had exposed their greed in the acquisition of government lands.

 Ms. Hind Mustafa had acquired 131 plots of land, a matter that prompted sarcastic Sudanese to turn the wording of a verse in the National Anthem that reads: “This land is ours”, to read “This Land is Hind’s!”

It was not just Hind that usurped these big lots of land.

Her husband, Former Police Chief, General Mohammad Najeeb, had unlawfully acquired 129 plots of land, to raise the family’s total of government land to 260 plots and buildings.

The committee has also retrieved 14 buildings, including a ten-storey high-rise tower in the Kafuri suburb from the family of ousted President Omar Albashir.

People die of hunger and war in the country’s periphery and these people were building towers, one storey over the other in the best suburbs of Khartoum. Where have these people come from?

What is more important was that the committee had announced it retrieved 71 land plots from the secretary general of the Islamic Da’wa (missionary) Orgaization, Ata Almannan Alhaj. This proves that this man was not honest (as his title “amen” should really mean (Ameen means honest and also secretary in Arabic.)

Goes on Alsondy: Nor was this man preaching Islam as his organization’s name alleges. The Islam they were preaching is an Islam different from the Islam Sudanese Muslims know. This is mere robbery, mere devouring of Muslim money. The Islam these people claim to follow isn’t that called for by The Prophet Mohammad, it is that of the liars and the corrupt.

Every week the committee issues tens of resolutions retrieving vast amounts of money looted by Alkaizan by the power of their official offices.

“It is true that there are some kaizans who still go out defending their poor party, their bad political project and their corrupt regime. If there is a wise person among them, he would divorce this movement and would fall down on his knees in apology and repentance for the people of the Sudan. He should feel sorry for being fooled by these people’s false slogans in which they claimed that they were serving the message of God.”

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Columnist Alfatih Jabra wrote in the daily Aljareeda indicating the fairness of the open strike declared by Khartoum garbage collectors, protesting their miserable working conditions.

He wrote: The workers who collect the city’s garbage and open the sewer manholes without and safety and health guarantees are indeed working under hazardous conditions.

They do not have suitable shoes, hand gloves and spectacles that guard them against microbes. They even don’t have soap and antiseptics to wash their hands with. That means this important and effective category is  prone to contract disease and epidemics like jaundice, TB, typhoid, coronavirus  and tetanus and then communicate them to their families. This is indeed a sorrowful situation, quite immoral and a clear exploitation of this vulnerable sector of the society. It is the duty of the municipalities that employ these workers to provide them with all the means of safety, given that these municipalities collect vast quantities of money as garbage fees. Where this money goes nobody knows.

All over the (civilized) world the hygiene workers are considered (among the Great), because they render a great service, money cannot easily buy. In China, for instance, a statue was raised in one of its cities representing a garbage collector in recognition of such a worker’s role in the society.

In Japan the garbage collector(hygiene engineer) earns 8000 US dollars a month. In Germany the cleaning worker ranked The First in a poll asking the Berlin population to rate the best of social servants. In Britain the law sets the precondition that anyone who applies for this job should bear no other country’s nationality, out of respect for this profession which is considered a national security affair. The British cleaning worker earns an average 6.71 Sterling pounds an hour i.e. the equivalent of about a thousand Sudanese pounds. In Sweden the garbage collector should be a Swede. His salary amounts to 5000 US Dollars a month. In the US obtaining a garbage collector job is very difficult because of the rush to this job, given the high salary it pays. Such a worker earns more than 34,000 US Dollars for his first year in service. After five years in this service the worker’s salary jumps to an annual 70,000 dollars.

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Writing in the Daily Altayyar, Columnist Asma’a Juma’a lashed heavily against what she called the campaign by remnants of the defunct regime to belittle the government’s effort to combat coronavirus:

“The transitional government is doing its best to stem the spread of the dangerous pandemic under the dire conditions of a broken state. The government does not have a health system capable of presenting the minimum of health services. That is in addition to the fact that the people of Sudan are already suffering and unable to afford more problems. By imposing a curfew under these poor conditions, the Government wants to evade the people the worst of fates, death. This dictates upon every citizen of value and conscience to help the government protect the public until this crisis is over.

The cadres of the defunct regime have engaged, ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, in a campaign vilifying the announcements of the Ministry of Health about the disease. Moreover, some of them try to mislead the people that the disease does not exist and ask the people to go out demonstrating or performing prayer in the mosques. If they could, these remnants of the regime would distribute the cornonavirus to the citizens in their homes. Believe it or not, whenever a new virus case is confirmed these ill-fated people rejoice in their cyber groups.

Moreover, there are some who think it impossible for the citizens to stay at home if the daily household needs are not made available. There are some who seek to spread panic among the public, although there are constructive ideas which, if carried out, would rid the people the trouble of staying at home.

 Yes, the people will face trouble during the curfew because of the inherited economic crises. All in all they government is more concerned about the health of its people. Living difficulty is safer than death. And if the public is to choose between livelihood difficulties or death, they are sure to choose the first. This was what was done by the Prophet and his companions under such critical conditions.

There is consensus among health experts that gatherings create the most favorable conditions for the spread of this infection.

 It is my belief that everybody knows the  wide spread of the disease in some countries was because of big gatherings in the main. For this, stopping possible death because of big gathering is a religious and legal must. Accordingly , any call for gatherings for any reason is unnecessary  and a disobedience of Allah and a violation of the laws and social norms.

Calling people for collective prayer under such conditions is like instigating murder, and its perpetrator should be held to account for attempted murder.

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YH/AS

 

Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...

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