September 23, 2013 (KUACJOK, Warrap State) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir has threatened to expel unidentified senior members of his governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) over bickering.
- South Sudan president Salva Kiir (AFP/Nicholas Kamm)
"Bickering and gossiping is becoming a culture of the politics of today. This is destructive to the party", he said.
The South Sudanese leader called for disciplinary actions against unruly party members.
"That means disciplinary measures must be enforced right away when such practices [gossiping and bickering] are observed. If there are such people, those who are becoming indiscipline they must be dismissed", Kiir told members of parliament during his recent tour of the greater Bahr el Ghazal regions.
Kiir’s threat to dismiss the indisciplined may be interpreted in some quarters to suggest that he is dissatisfied with the performance of some party officials and their loyalty to him.
Kiir made the remarks during a brief stop over in Warrap state capital, Kwacjok, during which he preached unity.
The president’s remarks in Warrap were triggered by a number of accusations raised against Tor Deng Mawien, the state SPLM chairperson and Anne Ito, the party’s national deputy secretary general.
The state minister of animal resources, Paul Dhel Gum and the deputy SPLM chairperson in the state, Andrew Kuac accused Mawien and Ito of allegedly neglecting the local party structures.
Other charges labeled to the president against the two officials included their alleged failure to swear in local members of the liberation councils across the state after their elections into various positions in 2008.
Itto is said to have colluded with Mawien to block the swearing in occasion.
But both Mawien and Ito have dismissed all the accusations against them challenging those that raised the allegations to cite provision in the constitution which allows local members of the liberation council to be sworn in.
"There is no provision in the SPLM constitution that calls for the swearing in of the local members of the liberation council. The constitution talks only about three people, which in this case is the state chairperson, deputy chairperson and the secretary general", Ito told the meeting.
"This was the decision I made and if there are people who are not happy with it, then they will have to support their arguments, otherwise they will have to follow the system and abide by it", she added.
In response to accusations that he is always absent from his duty station, Mawien said his absence in the state was due to assignment given to him at the national level by the same leadership of the governing leadership.
"It is not my choice to be in Juba. I am there because I have been given an assignment by the leadership, just like there are some officials in the state administration who are supposed to be in their respected areas. You have people like Achol Chier who is now the state minister of parliamentary affairs. She is here because the same leadership wanted her to be here so that she can provide service" he told the meeting.
"You also have people like comrade Daniel Awet Akot, comrade Mark Nyipuoc and comrade Jemma Nunu Kumba who is here with us. They are not in their states because they have been given assignments by our leadership", he added.
So what is special about my assignment, he
President Kiir, in his concluding remarks at the meeting, urged unity among the party members.
"Bickering and gossip have become destructive to the party. The problem you have here is disunity. Put your house in order for the party to be strong. You need unity for you to achieve what you want to achieve, and credit will go to all of you", said Kiir.
He said the SPLM would not have become the ruling party had the party not worked hard during the liberation war against oppression from Sudan and cautioned against quarrels in the party.
"The biggest industry that is emerging is bickering and gossip, which is destructive to the party. If one of you goes wrong, find out what is wrong. If anyone goes away it’s a loss to the party. Express love to one another", he said.
Kiir stressed that his party (SPLM) was the only attractive party in the country but said there is a need for party members to work hard as they did during the liberation struggle.
"Our people used to provide support to the SPLM/A during the war not because they knew SPLM would be a ruling party but because they knew SPLM was fighting for their cause to bring services. That is why our populations was offering support to the movement. We used to move from the area to the area to persuade people and they accepted. That’s why we are independent today. If they were gossiping, South Sudan would not be independent", Kiir said.
Hard work in any aspect pays off, the president added.