Home | Comment & Analysis    Friday 12 August 2011

“The goat is dead”. At last, President Kiir acknowledges!


By Justin Ambago Ramba

August 11, 2011 — Many have keenly followed President Salva Kiir’s recent speeches since South Sudan became an independent state, thanks to the advance in technology. At the whole none of the speeches came as any surprise since unpredictable, unusual and unintended external actions often confounding with destiny took the upper hand in what can be viewed as the most unprecedented ways in shaping the politico and socio-economic dynamics of a state as nascent as South Sudan. Others may well say,” Isn’t it that same fate or destiny that has led us collectively through the thick and the thin until we made it today as an independent state?

However going back to the President’s last three speeches delivered on the Independence Day, the Martyrs Day and to the Bicameral House respectively, one immediately becomes aware of the stagnation surrounding us as a nation. A sad one though, however the hard fact is that both the ruler and the ruled seem too lost to an endless theorization on policies when the actual work of implementation should have simultaneously begun since 2005.

Those who recall listening to the President’s speech in 2008 and again in 2010 will realize that the themes remain the same. On both occasions the President was heard lamenting the poor performance of his government. It was about zero tolerance on corruption, and again a promise of 100 days where things were to change. What happened! They did change of cause, but not for the best. And the proof to this is that the President is still lamenting today.

Isn’t it a desperate attempt from the President when his latest speeches suggest that he is trying to distance himself from his past three governments when he blames all the poor performance on his subordinates who were in every case his personal choices? Ending up with three successive ministers of finance with bad ratings signifies a fault in the choice making mechanism and that lies squarely with the President himself.

Serving with three consecutive cabinets which are better known for corruption, leaves everyone puzzled as to whom does the President want to crucify for their failures, when he should have imposed discipline on those government officials or at least on those closer to him at the top to act as role models. It was on the Martyrs Day when the President said,” It is not time to blame the past but rather it is time to focus on what to do today, tomorrow and the future. It is time to consciously ignore things that would destruct or detract us from building our new nation”.

However the reality of humanity can never be brought to operate like an automatic machine which can be switched robotically and at wish from off to on and vice versa. Traumatized people can never genuinely turn on new pages in life without undergoing post conflict healing processes through fact finding and reconciliation exercises for otherwise the currently imposed status quo only serves the interest of the abusers who thus continue to abuse unabatedly and with much impunity.

Again the President made this strong statement:

“The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry for National Security should take charge of the safety of our citizens. Criminals should now become attentive and those who are naughty terrorizing the public must now stop. Criminality should cease or else those who perpetrate suffering to others will be subjected to the strong arms of the law. In fact I have declared war on criminals! I would like to announce that as I talk to you now, senior officers who misbehaved in discharging their duties are now locked up in jail.” The President continued.

What followed was a confirmation of the already confirmed when General Acuil Tito Madut , Inspector General of South Sudan Police Service confirmed to the media that a Major General by the name of Marial Nuor Jok has been arrested on the President’s orders on the count of many serious charges. So was this the guy the godfather behind all the havoc besotting South Sudan or is he just the tip of an ice berg?! This we will wait to see.

In turn addressing the MPs, parliamentary speaker James Wani Igga stressed the need to boost security, especially by disarming former soldiers and removing the many weapons in the region left over from decades of war.

"We must therefore disarm, disarm and disarm, until a woman can work in her farm without fear of rape at gunpoint, and until a trader can open his shop even up to midnight without fear of robbery at gunpoint," he said.

Comparing the reactions from the two top officials, the President of the State on one hand and the Speaker of the House on the other, the question that immediately begs is,” where were the two when it all started to go wrong”? Our leaders need first to restore the trust of the people in the existing institutions by investigating and fixing the already committed crimes before they can rally the masses behind them in what sounds like a new crusade. A stitch in time could have saved ten.

You can’t talk of preventing the rape of women who work their fields in remote parts of this country with many parts becoming inaccessible for a good part of the year when cases of women police cadets raped inside the ‘Rejaf Police Academy’ had hardly received the deserved attention. If the Police can rape fellow Police and further sexually abuse women inside the cells within Juba the capital, this leaves women working on farm or having to fetch water for their families often from rivers or streams miles away far from being any safer. The present Police structure has served our people for the past six and a half years, and now the few good ones can be seen standing out from the rest. It’s time that this important sector of the society undergoes the much delayed weeding.

And as to what to expect in President Kiir’s next cabinet, if not but the over recycled faces, he went on to declare the following:

Yet one of the most bewildering declarations by the President was when he publicly announced how he was intending to form his next cabinet. Thanks to God that his statement was already preceded by what was the comic of the year when the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s Secretary General drew the attention of the public to the brewing political wrangling within the ruling party as members vying to get seats in the new cabinet exerted unprecedented pressures on the leadership. It couldn’t have been expressed any dramatic than did the party’s Secretary General, (Sudan tribune July, 17, 2011,) that over 500 senior party members in Juba are lobbying for ministerial appointments in the yet to be formed new cabinet.

This is the announcement that bewildering me as I came across it the media and was attributed to the President:

”The new Government of South Sudan will be formed on strength and qualifications, and not tribal representations according to President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

In the above statement many can be seen all coming into interplay at once. This is a heavily loaded piece of politics and will need better tackling, as exhaustively as possible for the benefit of the readers.

No tribal representations, said president Kiir. But was there any tribal representation in any one time during his six and a half years tenure in office? What does the statistics say? Above all issues like strength and qualifications are obviously meaningless without further qualifying them. Because when you say strength, the next question will be, “of what?” and, “in what?”, and “how much of it is enough strength?” It can still be a tribal strength without having to go the entire walk of representing each and every tribe.

The same argument applies to qualifications – qualifications of what? Academic, loyalty, partisan, honesty, son of a chief, experience, which of these is he referring to? The fact that non of all these are agreed sets of values and further still being relative in appreciation, plus the fact that the whole lot is up to the President to decide on what constitutes a qualification or strength, or both , we may still end with many of the current faces. Otherwise out of all these combinations and permutations there is only one standing fact and that is, not all tribes will be represented in the cabinet, however a mono-ethnic formation that satisfies the definitions of strength and qualification as set by the president is a possibility. Another probable shock though, isn’t it?!

While we are all the making of the same events, fate and destiny as stated in the beginning of this article, let the leadership know that the people of South Sudan are all eyes and ears, they has since been so and they will continue to be. Mindful that you have already promised your people the longest 100 days ever lived by Mankind, men are held by their tongues so remember to keep promises and deliver on them please!

The opposition parties are more than ready to cooperate fully and give their support to all the initiatives that will be undertaken to move the process of nation building forward. Nevertheless as you rightly stated in your speech: "The people of South Sudan will not sit idly and allow corruption and abuses of public resources to continue unabated," this you said. But be always reminded that you and the working team you choose will be under scrutiny to deliver not only on services but far most on the wider promises of an inclusive multiparty democracy, good governance and the rule of law where the realization of human rights and the maintenance of human dignity play a central role. These are the qualifications and strengths the people would want to see in your new government. No more excuses for you have openly acknowledged that the goat is finally dead, which translates literarily into no more goats left to be used as scapegoats. There you are!

Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at: justinramba@aol.co.uk or justinramba@doctors.net.uk

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  • 12 August 2011 14:37, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

    Dear Justin;
    Please register my New Party " South Sudan Speak Truth Party". That is my party which am loyal to and abide by its principles and objective. Nation is build and supported with poles if it is seemed to collapsed through words of expression. This article of yours bears blame on the current President who was like a hot metal in between metal pivot and a hammer ( Black smith knows what happen to this metal) for the past 6 years. President Kiir was part of this blames and he kept quiete just like when Garang kept quiete when his senior officers misbehaved during the struggle. My assumptions: Kiir was afraid to discipline the Ministers fearing of defections same footstep of Garang during the struggle.
    The huge mistake Kiir has done now is that he has appointed all suspects to the national Assembly as MPs and yet he said that corrupt officials will not be part of his Government. Kiir contradicts statement he made. Therefore, Kiir is like a clock hands especially the hands that counts seconds. That hand is very easily to come to the point or number it just left ago. Kiir rotating on bad officials is going to fail him in future.

    Secondly, Even if Kiir appoints oppositions to ministerial posts, they will not implement anything within 100 days believe me. One who wrote that policy statement has made Kiir to own lies.

    Third, Let us accept that we were only ready for "Just Independent of Republic of South Sudan" and nothing else. Now we have it in our hands. What arrangements were made ready for the new Country?
    To other readers: Please do not tell me that Constitution, coats of Arms, money and etc where the arrangements. The fact is that we were not ready. our focus was just Independent of South Sudan to be recognised. How will South Sudan operate when the Government is slow in appointing the Cabinets? Any way, it is not me who wrote this article but i want to tell Mr. Justin that to acknowledge my New Party.

    repondre message

  • 12 August 2011 19:41, by Makuei

    Hey Ramba, as your alliance indicate - you must be kidding to be from United South .... while you talk of things which could divide South.

    No tribal statistic necessary, because some other ten small tribes could make other one big tribes. You dont need to open the list of government officials to prove corruption but follow some individuals who run corruption activities within that government. Got it!!!

    repondre message

    • 13 August 2011 23:01, by Akuma

      I doubts. This is not a Dr. Dr Can’t speak like this but what, who told you we want another Dr Here in South Sudan to lower his/her nose in South affairs? Go and treats people from malaria in Hospitals instead of confusing Junubiin for nothing.


      repondre message

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