By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD
Judge them by their deeds not their words any more….
February 21, 2010 (SSNA) — Those candidates who are aiming for offices for the second term should in fact receive more scrutiny than any. How many of us are eager to become audiences to ex-portfolio holders while they go over what they should have done but couldn’t? Should they be expected to do better if given a second term in office? Given their five years in office was enough opportunity to send their messages through. But without any tangible achievements on the ground and the absence of any services that can be attributed to them, no doubt reflects how inappropriate they have been.
On the other hand, many of these ex-portfolio politicians are already associated with many cases of corruptions that captured headlines throughout the entire life span of the GoSS from 2005 to date. We have heard of countless false contracts on roads, on schools, and fresh issues as the embezzlements at the Nile Commercial Bank (NCB) and the Dura scandal.
The Dura scandal as a major famine looms….
Today as I write this article, over 5 million south Sudanese i.e. half of the total population are threatened with hunger due to lack of sorghum (Dura). Dura is our staple food and it is grown in huge quantities in many parts of the Sudan. There are mechanized schemes mostly in southern Kordofan, Gaderef and the Renk (south Sudan), where millions of hectares of sorghum are grown using rain water, yet half of the population in south Sudan are starving. Do any of the electorates ask as to where all these tons of sorghum end up?
We must know that the government in Khartoum with collaboration with its counterparts in Juba chose to export the sorghum to the Middle Eastern Arab countries as fodder for their goats, camel, donkeys and other animals while southern Sudanese starve in their millions.
Can the GoSS in its moments of humanness not preserve the Dura produced in Renk, which is in south Sudan, to feed its population of 8.0 million before satisfying the hunger of the foreign camels and donkeys or the greed of the northerners for hard currency?
It is indeed sad that the food shortage in south Sudan has been exploited by some officials in the GoSS. A big population in Warrap, Northern Bahr Ghazal, Jonglei and some parts of Eastern Equatoria are also made to starve as a result of nepotism by the President who appointed incompetent ministers of Finance from his own backyard.
These ministers one after the other turned corrupt and embezzled public funds in millions of US dollars. The latest was the $ 2.0 billion USD grains saga which every south Sudanese is quite aware of, but for reasons left to autopsy, all those involved from the top leadership to the least in the network are all now seen actively campaigning for a second term, as if to make sure that the 5 millions threatened with famine must surely die.
Who will arrest the impunity when leaders are only ears and eyes but no hands on the job….
In the Sudan Tribune that came out on Wednesday 29, July 2009 Mr. Isaac Vuni reported that when the grain scandal was presented for debate at South Sudan Legislative assembly there were a total of 90 legislators in attendance and GOSS present ministers were: Martin Elias Lomuro of south Sudan minister pleaded for further investigation parliamentarian affairs, Dr. Luka Monoja Tombekana of cabinet affairs, David Deng Athorbi of finance and economic planning, Madut Biar of postal services and Telecommunication, John Luk Jok of Energy, Industry and Mining, Hon. Peter Abdurrahman Sulle of Cooperative and rural development.
A certain lawmaker urged that the South Sudan government should probe correctly in the case. He also asked why some of the assembly staffers are involved in the grain deals and rightly warned that such level of corruption could divide southern Sudanese, and do doubt it has.
This is now the moment of truth and we would want to hear from those ministers and the MPs as to what has become of this mega scandal? Are the culprits still at large while our own people starve to the death in a vast area of south Sudan? Will our corrupted politicians be sincerely looking forward to get votes from these hunger wasted and skin on bones or rather living skeletons, in the forth coming elections? Man can at times be really greedy to the extent that their acts hardly reflect any of the known humanity.
Our people still continue to suffer even when peace is officially supposed to have returned to south Sudan. President Kiir did what he could do best and on more than one occasion he tried to recycle the same corrupted cabinet in a bit to please his friends at the expense of the suffering masses; unfortunately that one didn’t pay off. Many events have happened which warranted purging at a large scale, but that never happened.
However it would be wise enough if the ex-portfolio holders don’t have to waste their time in any unnecessary campaigns because our people have had enough time over the last five years to discern what was all but mismanagement and have reached the verdict of not competent on the government. Even the tribal chiefs, who recently received new cars, are not fools to understand what it signifies. Their own fates lay with the masses not with any of these incompetent and corrupted leaders who in their last attempts to impress only prove to the whole world that they can go at length just to bribe their ways back to power.
The coming elections shouldn’t become a wasted opportunity over exaggerated partisan points of view. There is a real need to weed our political, executive as well as the legislative institutions. There are individuals out there who are known to the people as nothing but rotten. They must not be allowed to get back into the public offices and from these elections onwards the people must keep control over the politicians that they hire. As you vote them in office you can also vote them out of it, the moment they fail to impress.
“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” King Jr. Martin Luther.
Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.B, B.Ch, D.R.H, M. He can be reached at: either [email protected] or [email protected] All the articles of the author are available at www.nilebuffalo.com and blog http//ussp-news.blogspot.com