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South Sudan Health Minister Acuei Fires Undersecretary

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Elizabeth Acuei Yol

South Sudan’s National Minister of Health Elizabeth Acuei Yol on Wednesday suspended the Undersecretary at her ministry Dr. Victoria Anib Majur without giving reasons. 

She then appointed Dr. Samson Paul Baba as Acting Undersecretary for the Ministry of Health. 

In a statement seen by Radio Tamazuj, Minister Achuei said, “In the exercise of the powers conferred upon me under Article 114 (2) (c) and Article 31 of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 (as amended), read together with the Republican Decree No: 222/2020, I Hon. Elizabeth Acuei Yol, Minister for Health, do hereby issue this Ministerial Order suspending Dr. Victoria Anib Majur from her duties as the Undersecretary for the Ministry of Health.”  

Acuei also called for the formation of a disciplinary board to investigate and report to the minister within 90 days per the provisions of the Civil Service Act and Regulations. She also directed the newly appointed Acting Undersecretary to implement the order.

Reacting to her suspension, Dr. Victoria Anib Majur said she was not given the reasons for her suspension.

“I don’t know the reasons and there is nothing I can say about it. I was not told the reasons but first, it has to do with the restructuring that happened during the crisis at the Juba Teaching Hospital. I was addressing a crisis and I was advised by Vice President Abdelbaggi to do the re-structuring because there was a serious crisis of a strike by health officers,” Dr. Victoria Anib said.

Dr. Anib claimed she did not undermine the minister when she re-structured positions for Directors at the Ministry of Health while the Minister was in the United States.

“Some people think that I am undermining the minister but the minister was not in the country. Normally I can not do anything without consulting her, but as she was not around we were responding to a very serious crisis at the hospital as doctors were on strike and people were dying in the hospital. We cannot wait for the crisis for someone to come back from the US. How is that the reason she decided to suspend me?” Dr. Victoria added. 

Dr. Anib further said Health Minister Elizabeth Acuei did not give her the reason and time to explain herself.

She denied allegations of insubordination that other news outlets put against her.

“Some people are assuming I am undermining my minister, I have always been working with her and I have never done anything when she is here. I am not undermining her, it is not like what is portrayed in the media. It was just a serious strike that I could not wait for,” she said.

On Friday Minister Acuei arrived in the country and immediately canceled the order of the Undersecretary restructuring key positions of Directors in the ministry of health while Minister Elizabeth Acuei was attending the UN General Assembly in the US. It is not clear whether Undersecretary Victoria Anib Majur consulted Minister Elizabeth Acuei during the reshuffle.

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