Govt wants Vivacell back provided that it complies with regulations

File | Photo

Oct 31, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Director-General of the National Communication Authority (NCA), Napoleon Adok Gai, has said that there’s still a window of opportunity for a Lebanon-based mobile operator, Vivacell, should it adhere to regulations set forth by the National Communication Authority.

We still consider Vivacell operational because they still hold our license. They were only suspended to put their house in order but they have not come back to us,” said Napoleon Adok Gai Director General National Communication in an interview with Radio Miraya.

In March 2018, the government of South Sudan revoked the licence of the mobile network operator, Vivacell, accusing it of failing to conform and act in accordance with the country’s regulations and policies.

“The National Communication Authority would like to inform the public that the operations of Vivacell Mobile Network Operator has been suspended, effective from 20th March 2018, due to the directives of the Minister of Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services,” the statement signed by Information Minister Michel Makuei partly read.

The suspension of Vivacell’s license dealt a huge blow to millions of South Sudanese subscribers who were counting on Vivacell for reliable Internet access and voice communications.

Vivacell, a Lebanon-based mobile company was officially launched in Southern Sudan in 2009 by Fattouch Investment Group after purchasing Wireless License Network of the World in March 2007.


Report | By Buay Kapduel

Government begs traders to re-open shops, resume businesses

Information Minister Michael Makuei

October 15, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Council of Ministers has issued a statement, urging the business people to re-open their shops closed following a sharp depreciation of the South Sudanese pound against the US dollar witnessed in the last two days.

Speaking to reporters in Juba on Wednesday, Information Minister Michael Makuei said the Cabinet had called on the business community to return to their business activities as the government lays out strategies to normalize the economy.

“After thorough deliberations, the cabinet decided to appeal to those business people and those traders who have closed their shops, to open them to the public,” Michael Makuei said. “All those who have closed their shops are in a way adding more to what is already there. And as a result, all the traders are expected to open up their shops and keep on selling to the customers. This is an appeal to them,” said Michael Makuei, Information Minister Makuei and government spokesperson.

Makuei noted that the remarks he made last week almost sparked a public uproar and caused a terrible dilemma.

“This was of course announced last week and after that announcement, the market almost went into a rampage. In my statement here (last Friday) I directed and requested those who are hoarding money to take it to the banks beforehand,” Makuei said.

“This automatically to others meant that the government must be having a malicious plan and it might decide to borrow out their money or as such it might decide to question those who will be depositing heavily. And as a result, those who hoarded the money decided to go to the market and buy the dollar at any rate. And as such, the dollar jumped that high and as of today (Wednesday) it is 75 SSP to US$ 1,” he noted.

The government official, Makuei blames the traders and warns them against rushing to exchange the US dollar at unofficial rates.

“My last message is to assure all the traders and business people that their businesses will not be affected in a way or the other. You are only destroying your businesses by buying dollars at that very high rate. Why don’t you wait for that time when the government will avail you of the necessary dollars at an affordable rate so that you can buy and make use of your money?” Makuei asked.

He urged the traders not to take advantage of fluctuating exchange rates as a tool to exploit their customers.

“The hose who are hoarding the money and those who are selling in their shops. Those who are selling in their shops, as soon as the dollar increases by one pound, add a pound to the price of their goods and at the end of the day it is the consumer who becomes a victim.”

Information Minister Makuei added that “This is the advice that we are giving to those who are trying to inflate and destroy the market. Our advice to the business people is not to keep increasing the prices of your goods because the dollar has gone up. This is not healthy and as such we also appeal to them to keep to their prices because at the end of the day you will be making a wrongful gain.”

Makuei refuses to undergo test for COVID-19, citing strong immune system

Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information and Broadcasting addressing the press after the African Union heads of state and government summit held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa/Photo: File

May 19, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth has reportedly refused to take the Corona virus test, arguing that he has a strong immune system and will not be infected with the Coronavirus, according to a government official interviewed this morning by our investigative reporter.

“He [Makuei] declined to undergo the Coronavirus test, citing that his immune system is strong enough to fight the Coronavirus pandemic,” the official told our correspondent in Juba this morning.

South Sudan has seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in recent days.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health announced that members of the previous High-level Task Force on COVID-19 had contracted the disease, including FVP, Dr. Riek Machar and his wife Angelina Jany Teny.

The rise in the number of cases raises concerns about the spread of the virus due to the the country’s weak health system.

‘IGAD dances to the tune of the SPLM-IO’ – Makuei

Michael Makuei Lueth, Information Minister speaking to the media after the the IGAD Council of Ministers Meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa (Photo: File)

February 9th, 2020 (Thessherald)—South Sudan’s government has strongly criticized the East African regional bloc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, for its failure to provide a win-win solution to the number of states and their internal boundaries, a pending issue that is likely to hamper the formation of a national unity government.

On Saturday, the IGAD Council of Ministers adopted a resolution recommending 23 states plus the Abyei Administrative region.

Michael Makuei Lueth, a government spokesperson stated that the IGAD Council of Ministers was following what the opposition has been demanding, especially the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-IO.

“The ministers of IGAD talked freely and they decided to dance to the tune of the opposition, not of the opposition, but of the SPLM/A IO and they recommended that the government should come down and establish 23 states plus Abyei and there was no reasons given,” Makuei said.

He added that the same remarked was made by the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan, Ambassador Ismail Wais who likewise endorsed the reduction of the number of states and their boundaries.

“The second report was made by the special envoy who decided also to agree with the report of the council of minister and recommended the establishment of 23 states,” he said.

Michael Makuei noted that the position of the government “is to continue the establishment of the R-TGoNU in time as came in the agreement. There is no more extensions and any other outstanding issue will be addressed by the inclusive R-TGoNU.”

“There were no reasons given. The second report was made by the special envoys who also decided to agree with the report of the IGAD Council of Ministers and recommended the establishment of 23 states,” said Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

He asserted that the government maintains its position that the Transitional Government will be formed first on the basis of these 32 states, and then the pending issues will be tackled later.

“The position of the government is very clear. We are saying the government should be established, the current 32 states be maintained and then the unity government will decide whether to go for a referendum or to push it to the constitution-making process, so this is our position,” he stressed.

The senior government official said that the government would not accept another extension of the pre-transitional period, in case the opposition fails to accept the current 32 states.