Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Paying for your rights

In Sudan, there is no rule of law, I believe.
I've been trying to convince myself that things in Sudan are "not that bad" for a while now.. but it is not working!
Sudanese people are known to use the word "ma3leesh" ( sorrry) and"mafi moshkela"( no problem) a lot. Something happens and we are quick to say not a big deal, thank god for everything else!
The war in Sudan is the longest-running war in Africa- it's ok, at least it's not the longest-running war in the world!
At least 2 million died in the war- well, 38 million are still living! Thank god for that!

But sometimes it's difficult to say mafi moshkela.

We have two stores in my house in Sudan. They are facing the main street and we usually rent them . A few years ago, we rented it to this guy who looks exactly like an arms dealer.
Anyways, a few years later, our deal with him was over and we wanted him out. He also didn't pay a penny in a very long time.
Apparently, the guy had contacts in the government. We had documents and we were the owners of the store. So, the court was on our side.

Wrong Answer.

I don't know how much it costs to bribe a judge , but he bribed him and we knew it.

Three years on, three lawyers and thousands of dollars later, he is out of OUR property.

I don't feel any better knowing that there is no rule of law in Sudan. I don't feel any better knowing that if you don't know the right people, you don't have any rights.

I can't help but wonder if my mother's friend gave us the best advice when she said " hire a few thugs, let them break into the store and smash everything there"
I mean I don't support violence , but what do you do to get your rights in Sudan?

Take up arms like the rebels. Be gangster about it. Bribe or my favorite, sleeping with an official to get what you want ( according to my sources: it works!)

6 comments:

jmb said...

That is an awful story Kizzie,will things ever improve?

Sarah said...

this is a dilemma in the developing world: go against the system and not get anything done, or do what everyone else is doing and break the law. it manifests itself in the simplest things, like getting a driver's license: should you take the test properly and wait months to get a license, or bribe someone and get it in an hour?

Anonymous said...

It's the same in Malaysia--judges are bribed all the time and corruption has become the norm. People think life is so hunky dory here but it's all white-washed for the outside world. Glad to hear that at least the court matter ended in your favour, albeit after lots of effort and money expended.

Kizzie said...

Sarah,
I hate bribing but in this part of the world, you need a budget for bribes.

Anonymous,
interesting comment. I've been to your beautiful country and I've always seen it as the star of the Muslim world!

Actually, the court matter didn't end in my favour, we took it outside the court and we just paid him to get it. I hate admiting it, but it saved time ,effort and money.

theNextSudanesePresident said...

Rule of law you say? pffffffft, that just doesn't apply to Sudan it shouldn't even be considered a country in its current state, more of a big "zariba" whith hyenas taking care of matters.

Do you know that Suan is an I.B.M country?
IMB not as in the giant corporation but as in
I: Inshallah
whenever you talk to someone about a good project the tell you Inshallah.
B: Bukra
When you come back to talk about the potential of your project you are told Bukra (or tomorrow) we will see what can be done as more pressing matters are at hand
M: Ma3leish
Thats the final nail in the coffin, when "Bukra" comes they tell you Ma3leish because you don't have influencial people backing you up.

*the same applies to loaning money to someone you know =P

Keep on posting!

Jah Guide/ras babi babiker said...

This is the game of the powerful ones, the ones who control the business of the guns, with our pens we will fight them, time will tell, a word is much stronger than a bullet.
much respect and take care.