And despite the UNDENIABLE weaknesses of the SPLM led GoSS, however Kiir and his ill intended spin doctors seem to have thoroughly mastered the malicious art of public deception where they continuously signal right, BUT turn left, an SPLM typical trade mark only second to Kiir’s own cowboy hats.
One thing for sure is that, how long it may take us to clearly and collectively see the defective nature of our current socio-political status, assuming that it will take some time for the disenfranchised majority to come around from the anesthetizing effect of the current tribal politics and cronyism, we are bound one day to part with this rotten and satanic system of governance. We will do it once and for all.
In his very long inauguration speech on 21 may 2010; Kiir said that in the past five years, peace in the south was disrupted by "greedy politicians" whose sole goal was to set one community up against another. The President of GoSS blasted these "elements" but added that now with the elections over, people of the south know who their rightful leader is and that there will be peace: the overriding spirit that will guide his presidential term.
This should not be viewed in any way as belittling to Kiir’s Presidency, but to be realistic, south Sudan is a home to the notion of having many rightful leaders who work together to run the day to day affairs of the people as opposed to the one man show which the president’s speech sadly seems to suggest. In no any way can President Kiir succeed in ruling south Sudan, should he consider himself the only and sole rightful leader. In south Sudan with all its ethnic complexities, each and every community leader really counts and matters and unless they are all taken on board, little can be achieved in as far as harmonious co-existence between the different commonalities are concerned.
Today South Sudan harbours over 85% of the Sudan’s daily 500,000 barrel Oil production and as it may go to become Africa’s newest state, with it comes the prospects of becoming the continent’s third largest Oil producer. But this entire beautiful picture has continuously been overshadowed by the insecurity, cattle rustling, poverty, illiteracy, lack of health services and widespread famine. Today it is all about referendum and looming famine that dominate the headlines of all the reports that cover this part of Africa. One may end in seven months time, while the other is possible to remain longer.
The famine in south Sudan is as old as the region itself. Agriculture that is practised by far only on subsistence levels has never developed into anything that can be counted on to provide for the region’s increasing population. South Sudanese have historically survived on a small scale farming and livestock, but even five years after the peace agreement we are still terribly languishing in an unbearable poverty and backwardness. And it must be acknowledged that any attempt to address this problem without taking into account the tolls of the five decades civil wars and the fact that the majority of our population never practised wide scale agriculture in the past, will never yield any tangible results.
So I believe that a leader presiding over a population of 8 – 10 millions, half of which are constantly being threatened by famine and chronic food shortages, Salva Kiir Mayardit needs to put his priorities right. A nation which is traversed by the greatest river in the world, the Nile, and yet feeds its population on maize, cabbage, tomatoes, cowpeas, onions …..etc all coming from the neighbouring countries, is a nation in troubles indeed as its very existence depends on the continuous mercy of these neighbours.
How on earth do we expect our people to appreciate all that was said by President Kiir in his one and a half hours speech, if five years into the peace era and we are still struggling with how to secure cabbage and tomatoes for our malnourished children and under fed labour force? Removing taxes from imported food is just a temporary solution, but worse still it encourages the people to depend on cheap imported food while taking them away from their traditional livelihood of farming the land in rural countryside. This creates yet unemployment in the most traditional sector.
Our dependence on imported food must stop, especially when our people are not able to pay for their high prices. Our independence and pride are both at stake as long as we do not produce our own food. It is time that we stop this unjustifiable and undignified dependence on food aid and food import, while we have the land and the water. Food production in south Sudan and the looming famine should have stood out prominently in Kiir’s speech, but because those who wrote that speech did so, on full stomachs, and as such they chose to underplay it. Isn’t that obvious?
Quote: “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, M.B, B.Ch, D.R.H, MD. Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). The party that stands for the independence of South Sudan. Can be reached at either[email protected] or [email protected]