South Sudan

EXCLUSIVE: Protest as South Sudan First Lady, Military Officers Grab Libyan Telecom Firm, Gemtel

South Sudan First Lady Mary Ayen Mayardit

The South Sudan presidency and high ranking government officials are in shock after it emerged that First Lady Mary Ayen Mayardit is allegedly involved in a multi-million dollar scandal.

It all started early this year with GEMTEL, more about a major telecommunications firm in South Sudan, viagra being seized by powerful state functionaries.

GEMTEL is owned by LAP Green (80 percent shareholding), page the investment arm of the Government of Libya.

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Just like Uganda Telecom which has been operating on a tight budget due to debts and lack of financing since the toppling of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, GEMTEL’s performance in the conflict-ridden South Sudan has been miserable.

Workers have missed salaries for several years, hoping Libya, which is also rocked by political violence, will recapitalize the Juba- based firm.

As the economy continues to disintegrate, the exchange rate of 1 US dollar ($) against 1 South Sudanese Pound (SSP) has skyrocketed to $1 per 50 South Sudan Pound in the black market while prices of basic food commodities are shooting through the roof.

South Sudan’s major revenue earner is oil whose price has shrunk miserably in the last two years.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that foreign investors are jittery on committing money in the South Sudan market.


Amid this chaos, government functionaries chose to take over management and reap from GEMTEL whose worth is estimated in millions of dollars.

The individuals accused of stealing the company are Ambassador John Kamal Akol who was the former legal advisor to the company Chief Executive Officer, Ghandi Mohammed; and Tong Tong View Dog who is a Major in the Military Police of the South Sudan Armed Forces.

Investigations by ChimpReports indicate that the two officials, who are close allies of President Salva Kiir, claim the company was bought by the First Lady.

Two other functionaries named in the saga are John Manutwol Deng, a Colonel in SPLA forces and Ms Peter Ajal Nyalaw, the wife of Kamal.

The legitimate CEMTEL CEO, Ghandi, was reportedly forced out of office and the country earlier this year.

ChimpReports has seen a resolution dated February 12, 2016 under reference number 0019/0CGM/2016 whereby Kamal upon the exercise of his powers as “Deputy Chairman Board of Directors”, appoints Felix Peter Nyero as the ‘Technical Director’ in GEMTEL.

This investigative website also has seen a resolution dated February 15, 2016 under reference number 015/2016 where board of directors at their meeting held on January 30 resolved to pay fatty monthly allowances to the new ‘management’ including the First Lady .

H.E. Mary Ayen would get the biggest allocation of 50,000 SSP while Kamal would obtain 40,000 SSP.

Col Manut Deng and Major Tong Tong Wiew Deng as well take home a monthly allowance of 40,000 SSP.

Ms Peter Ajal Nyalaw, the wife of Kamal, pockets 15,000 SSP per month.

We were unable to obtain a response from Kamal’s group as an official at GEMTEL said they were not ready to talk to the press.

The scandal exposes the growing levels of corruption and sectarianism in the war-torn country.

H.E. Mary Ayen would get the biggest allocation of 50,000 SSP

H.E. Mary Ayen would get the biggest allocation of 50,000 SSP


LAP Green has revealed it will not rest until it regains control of its South Sudan property.

In a letter to GEMTEL employees dated March 30, LAP Green General Manager Abu Fares confirmed that Gemtel’s “operational business has been the subject of an unlawful seizure.”

Fares adds: “More particularly, certain South Sudanese personnel, namely, Gemtel’s former External Advisor, Mr Kamal John Akol, who says he is an Ambassador of the Government of South Sudan, and Mr Tong Tong Wiew Dong, who says he is a Major in the South Sudan Defence Force, have unlawfully seized possession and control of Gemtel’s business premises in Juba. Their conduct is theft and has no legal foundation whatsoever.”

He further asserted that “LAP Green has at no time sold its interests in Gemtel to these individuals or any other party.”

Shedding more light on the extent of the government officials’ action, Fares said LAP Green officials have been “forcefully denied access to Gemtel’s head-office premises in Juba by the aforementioned officials. As regards Gemtel’s business, we understand it has no funds to operate. All of its bank accounts have been frozen. The business of Gemtel has for all intends and purposes ceased.”

Fares emphasised that as a result of “unlawful seizure of its assets, GEMTEL is at the moment incapable of providing you with any future, and/or historic salary payments/insurance/general employment benefits.”

He said LAP Green is currently “taking steps to reclaim its assets” after which it intends to support GEMTEL to reestablish the business and to pay its creditors and suppliers, including employees.?


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