JUBA – South Sudan’s cabinet minister Martin Elia Lomuro has lambasted citizens as social media criminals for criticizing the government in its project to dredge Naam River of weeds, saying the project was approved by the council of ministers.
In late June, South Sudan ministry of water resources and irrigation announced the arrival of a 21-truck convoy from Egypt to Unity State’s capital Bentiu through neighboring Sudan, carrying heavy machines that are to be used for dredging of Naam River.
The announcement sparked harsh social media debates among the citizens.
While most residents of Bentiu support the initiative, citizens in Juba including academic personalities such as the vice-chancellor of the University of Juba, criticized the government for wanting to launch the dredging initiative without a feasibility study.
Speaking during the funeral prayer for the late minister of water resources and irrigation in Juba on Thursday, Lomuro disclosed that late minister Manawa was scheduled to present a document to the council of ministers which had already approved the project in May.
“Indeed, the late (minister of water resources and irrigation) was scheduled to present a common memorandum to the council of minister on Friday the 24th of June, 2022, just two days before his passing on,” Lomuro said.
“At this juncture Your Excellencies, I felt duty bound to state that the dredging of Naam River which was negatively politicized and propagated on social media was a resolution of the council of ministers, Resolution number 05/2022 taken during the cabinet meeting on the 13th of May 2022,” he added.
Lomuro further disclosed that the “Jonglei canal development project was discussed by the by the infrastructure cluster and forwarded to the governance cluster, [but] the proposal has not presented to the council of ministers.”
“I therefore advise no individual group of social media criminals to castigate the minister or any of his members of staff.”