‘’The day you will begin keeping silent about the things that matter is the end of your life’’ Dr. Martin Luther King
Dear Hon. Dhieu and Dr. Othom Ajak,
CITIZENS BEAR THE HIGHEST BURDEN AS THE DOLLAR RATE HIT THE RECORD
It is with deep agony and sorrows from fellow citizens including me, mete out by current economic crises that pressed me to write this open letter. First and foremost, allow me to take this opportunity to appreciate your efforts in trying to stabilize economic of South Sudan. Many of us appreciate these initiatives you have so far taken. Sincerely speaking when you were appointed as a minister for finance followed by the appointment of Dr.Othom Ajak in mid- January 2017 as central bank governor, we were filled with joys and smiles on out faces with great hope that you will bring your experience to rescue the crippling economic. The appointment was seen as a reform in financial sector. The elite’s community of South Sudan definitely understands that, the reason for hyperinflation is not your making as individuals responsible for financial institutions in the country but a result of factors that requires a national wide attention. From my own perspective, I think the current civil war coupled with dependency of the country on oil production and importations of all consumable items from other countries is making our citizens pay the price. As citizens, given the fact that, the hyperinflation is not your own making, we still belief that within your powers you can change the narrative.
Hon. Minister and Governor for central bank of South Sudan, the current hyperinflation in Country has significantly crippled our living standards as common citizens. Imagine people in peripheral cities and even within central are resorting to eating leaves of plants most depending on a meal per day and even some forgo eating for a day or two simply because people can no longer afford buying basic items like maize flour, sugar, rice and beans in market because of daily increment of food items related to devaluation of South Sudan currency against USD. I am sure your institutions are already aware about these increasingly high prices of consumable food items all over the country and indeed might have heard the outcry of South Sudanese citizens through media houses. I am not therefore talking about something new however the new development that begun last week in which dollar rate has sharply increased to 1500ssp per a dollar and currently at 1800ssp in the black market has made most of us loss our patience. Just to bring you on the board, the prices of essential basic food items have doubled in the past two days in the western part of the country and I am sure it is all over the country. Examples of prices of some essential items, A bar of soap is at 150ssp, a salt at 65ssp, 1kg of sugar at 200ssp, 1kg of meat at 400ssp, a cup of tea at 30ssp, 1 piece of onion at 50ssp, 50kgs of sugar at 10,100ssp. This is just spur-of-the-moment and I am sure tomorrow will be a different story. Most of citizens I have personally spoken to expressed their deep concerns over prices in the market with some running petty businesses threatening to close and better stay at home, others said the government has turn dead ears over their cry.
Now given the phenomenon, how would a common citizen who does not even get 10ssp per day survive? How would a primary school teacher in grade 14 who earns 350ssp survive? How would a cleaner in the government hospital that gets 200ssp survive? How would any other civil servant who gets his/her salary after 3/4months survive?
Indeed the situation has become unbearable and you must act now to rescue us before we perish, remember you are there to the serve the people of South Sudan. If you kindly take a retreat and put yourselves in our shoes you will definitely understand better what I am talking about.
Dear Honorable minister and governor for central bank, time has come for us to act promptly because if things are becoming increasing difficult now, what will happen in June and months to come where most of the roads will become impassible. Well I am not an economist but I think controlling proliferation of dollars to black market and avail dollars to forex and commercial banks were it can be assess by people of South Sudan joined with changing of currency to higher denomination would work. If something is not done now, the citizens are likely to lose hope and attitude.
With great honor, I beg to stop here and hopefully look forward for a positive change.
Peter Garang Ngor Ayok
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