One among a few South Sudanese traffic police officers who understand the meaning of public service, has obtained fame and assets through what many people describe as an “extraordinary work.”
Kenyi George Lodu’s life changed since Monday 15th June, when a South Sudanese group, called ‘South Sudanese Youth for Kenyi’s Support, surprised him with several gifts including 400,000 South Sudanese pounds and other items as appreciation for good service.
Achai Wiir a businesswoman in Juba gave Kenyi a car-he is yet to receive. South Sudanese popular artiste, Silver X has donated a piece of land to Kenyi.
Monica Peter Chairperson of South Sudanese Youth for Kenyi’s Support encouraged other police officers to emulate Kenyi.
“Roughly, the money given to him is about 400,000 SSP plus some food and non-food items that have been contributed to Kenyi like cooking oil, maize flour, rice, sugar and so many kinds of gifts that are given to him. So, a lot of people are appreciating the work that Kenyi is doing and to my surprise, we also have the international community groups that have come up to contribute for him”, says Monica.
Waking up at Dawn and returning home at dusk, like many other colleagues, Kenyi distinguished himself in performance.
Of recent, the cop grabbed the attention of the public after a video of him controlling the movement of vehicles and pedestrians at Seventh Day Adventist roundabout, one of the busiest traffic points in Juba City.
Impressed by Kenyi’s work, some drivers described him as a ‘nationalist’ and a committed government employee who does his work with professionalism and passion.
Earning less than 5,000 South Sudanese Pounds monthly salary, Kenyi unlike some among his colleagues, never sold his reputation for money.
Appreciating the public for the award, urging them to carry on with the same spirit to develop the country, he said protection of road users is his duty.
” So, all of you [traffic police officers] who are working here, the civilians are all under your protection. I can say I’m not the only good person working in South Sudan, but there are so many of them”, George urged his colleagues.
Moro Locombo, the master of the ceremony said the contributors of the gifts were from different tribes of South Sudan.
It is the first time for the public to award a government employee for his performance.
Is his employer proud of him too?
The event honoring the man of “people” as some called, was attended by South Sudan National Police Service inspector and the Director of Traffic Police in South Sudan, Major General, Kon John Akot.
Kon says he knows Kenyi for being committed. He announced that he had already recommended for the promotion of Mr. Kenyi to first lieutenant.
Enrolled in police service in 2010, Kenyi was identified as a hardworking employee-a quality among others that led to his promotion to regimental officer.
What does Kenyi do?
Stationed at the busiest traffic post in the heart of Juba, Kenyi using a whistle blowing and his lissome hands tirelessly efficiently controls movement of cars, reducing traffic jam.
“He sweats all over his body, but he doesn’t mind about it, he thinks he doesn’t carry handkerchief to wipe his face,” one of the drivers said.
What is the view of South Sudanese Police?
In March, some drivers wrote a petition over what they said was constant harassment by traffic police.
In the petition traffic police were also accused of extortion and bribery.
Members of Transitional Legislative Assembly summoned the minister to respond to issues raised in the document.
What is being done to wash the stain on the police?
Measures have already been taken. Recently, police spokesman Daniel Justin said professional standard officers were deployed to watch and report on the behaviors of traffic police.
Anyone found guilty of misconduct would be punished, according to police spokesman.
Some traffic police officers assigned themselves to locations where they can get more money and others personify the services, police spokesman revealed.
Will Kenyi’s recognition be a game changer?
Although, South Sudan was ranked as one of the most corrupt nations in the world by Corruption Perception Index, CPI, 2018 report, some citizens are hopeful that there is going to be improvement in the traffic police conduct.