RSS Must Warn MPs to Stop Turning our Parliament into a Leisure Pub

By Aken Pankon Ngor Tong

October 18, 2011 (SSNA) — Soon after Comprehensive peace reached its last in 2005, a rush collection of Members of Parliament (MPs) came to force. The government here precisely needed or have used tracks and pickups to collect those ardent gentlemen and women. The exercise was a beginning of service delivery to this country we live in—a glitter ray of political dispensation in the horizon. We have again wholeheartedly elected them to the same house with expectations remained attached.

Years down the road, some MPs forgot or seem unknowing the business which brought them to the house. It’s an incongruity that gnaws at me to doubt those honorable Members of August House who should have been my keepers— our keepers to nothing less than themselves or none.

Many South Sudanese had wished the top leadership of the August House changed—an honorable thought which is not ill-driven—and which has been viewed at tribal lenses. In my junior school of 1990s, I have learnt the work an honorable Member of Parliament in a country could undertake. In practice, my Members of Parliament representing my constituency missed it altogether and so do some of the other MPs from other constituencies across this country!

Upon tapping His Right Honorable James Wani Igga as a top man in the house in 2005, a post he retained even after the infamous chaotic election of 2010, I was rejoicing, for according to my humble opinion, he is the right man in the right place. The history holds this a sap.

In 2004, the then Lt Gen. Wani spearheaded the famous first SPLM Youth League in Rumbek where he talked at length about good governance, accountability and rule of Law. He clearly defined the characters a good leader should possess.

All we see in him now is a reciprocal which qualifies an adage that “do as I say and never do as I do”.  But they should have been there for serious business. Yes, president Mayardit and his Vice have been in the media spotlight pronouncing a declared fight against corruption and service delivery in the interval of 100days, while MPs in their 100days nefariously do not have a will to extradite plans for this nation which is faced with a numerous shortcomings that dwarfed causes for concern into their usual businesses. The man carrying the blame is my beloved comrade Rt Hon Igga.

I’m not labeling any accusation to Mr. Speaker, neither do I need to ride at the back of anybody in the Assembly, but outlining some of the tasks Mr. Speaker and his team should have championed for the wellbeing of this country if there had never been foot dragging neologism borrowed by him and his confidants. The Assembly under Wani is failing our president; he made our Assembly as a conduit through which thieves are sheltered and a passage of meager resources to individual pockets.

The citizens yearn to hear any enactment into law some of the recurrent issues which have debilitated the whole laity’s lives by the parliament.  In a sharp contrast, we are only hearing constant recess and trips Honorable Speaker do have. This is not what affects the nation Mr Speaker; we need laws which protect our wellbeing not only foreigners’ wellbeing. I think Mr. Speaker is wrongly placed like those misplaced by this government behind the pretense of delivering service to this impoverished country.

Why is he not another misplaced politician when he wholeheartedly refrained from tough legislation which could see this country’s economy rise tremendously while protecting its norms and sovereignty from the foreign investors or individuals who are turning our country into a gambling ground?

Why is he not a misplaced Politician when the parliament under his leadership has never enacted any law which could protect our money from scammers within this government?

He is not only presiding over another redundant institution but he also doesn’t have a will to ensure that service delivery has to be realized within the interval of 100days as pledged by the president.

It’s not that Hon. Igga is weak to reform this government, it’s because the post he holds needs technocrat who in that field, could shape it and help our president in building this country. Our National Assembly needs a man who could assume this task, a man who will not laugh where he is not amused or who will not compromise or sell our country for the sake of greed and personal interest and that man is none other than Atem Garang.

Igga in this case can fill up the top post in the SPLM secretariat and become their Secretary.

He ( Igga) will not only transform SPLM, but he could make SPLM party more friendly, more loving and could submerge those who might have deserted it for one reason or another. His oratory and friendly approach could even give SPLM Party another boost hence, a new birth of SPLM. This will entice even SPLM- DC to drop its two letters and merge with the main stream as usual since they have similar objectives ostensibly or religiously. Having strong party dictates a strong government, and Mr. Igga is the right man to shape SPLM Party.

While it’s current secretary Pagan Amum will fill in the post left vacant by Malik Agar and be our media political icon and negotiator in this country.

I think this government doesn’t have a national character but tribal one. Why? We are not appreciative to the contribution and excellent work others have done to the survival of SPLM and its government. We are seeing things on the tribal window, if this is not the case; 6years in government have given us experience to access and study our leaders in both the government of Sudan and South Sudan. All the leaders have constructively contributed in governing our country given that successful referendum and pride exit from Khartoum without embarrassment are the prime example of this.

Those parliamentarians in National Assembly in Khartoum have done a superb job and they made us proud in the Arab World where Khartoum belongs, in Africa where Juba belongs and in the world.

Atem Garang can do that if he assumes the task of a speaker in South Sudan National Assembly. Our country needs a committed men and women to help our president in building this nascent nation.

The infant country doesn’t need sleeping assembly or family assembly where people call themselves In-laws (Nissif), Uncle or Girlfriend or Boyfriend., or does it need MPs who turned Community Development Funds-CDF into Family development Funds -FDF to satisfy the equation of’ like the father like the son syndrome’.

All these are done in the name of SPLM party and government. Don’t make our Assembly a club where unable few could seek their solace there, it’s not either a church or a mosque where people could seek spiritual accommodation for heaven’s sake .This is just a mockery of justice or we are compromising our future.

You made our country be ruled by decree than by laws; one decree after the other is not enough to lay firm foundation for this fledgling nation just for your lax or boyish emotions, Excuse me! Respect our Assembly please!

Mr. Speaker has really messed our parliament and now we are grooming our politicians in a more dangerous ways. Now, some Members of Parliament though in recess could not even go back to their constituencies, so that what affects people in the grassroots could be shared in the Assembly.

We could hear some good MPs in this Assembly who are our hope—our nation’s Hope, who are not given chance or might have been pinned to wood by those who wish our nation fail. We need the system of reforms to start in the Parliament where Hon Igga is not a speaker if we mean business and vision for a prosperous nation.

Honor our Generals please:

Another blunder which I think was a grim mistake is the making of the man we knew and who may perhaps, be older than our history– I mean the true history of our quest for the independence and freedom from Khartoum not that childish rhetoric of New Sudan Vision– as second to the Speaker of our National Assembly. I think the policy is a clear breach to spoil the legacy this man has earned in our history.

This is the same man who was once been reduced to serve as a governor of lakes state, in his time as a governor, some notorious members of lakes state reduced this man I knew before I knew anything in this world to nothing less than a village representative of Gok. There were lots of damages they caused to this hero I respect.

Awet Akot never wavered in defense of our Sovereignty or to disappoint his president but to execute his duties diligently to his ability. Years later, he was removed by the decree which placed him to the Assembly as its second most powerful man in August house’s leadership. Akot of 20th century who managed led the famous SPLA incursions in most of the places NIF/Sudanese government invaded in the south and who helped contain the irregular behaviors our Army have had on the local population is an unsung hero and patriot of the past and present time. He was the same man who helped pen down the infamous SPLA Fire Squat Declaration-FSD.

Here whoever caught stealing an egg could be punished by death penalty through firing squat leave alone a chicken. All this was done in good faith to help bring the irresponsible behaviors of the soldiers to minimal. He is now one of our heroes and our living martyrs in this country.

I thought a person with an excellent military experiences shouldn’t be put in an institution which needs policies of a digital age.  Now, we are forced to talk our minds against this humble man our government again embarrassed. We need his services more than any other before not in the Assembly but in the military fora, Bilpam is the ideal place for Him.

He will undertake very good job there more than he does in the Assembly. While our Parliament needs Kiir’s boys as was known back in 1980s as Garang’s boys for the building of this country. I know we have good folks in the Assembly if given a go-ahead and leadership placed in thy hands, we will not be worried of dragging our country to the Nile River and shift our wealth abroad, but we will only be worried about why we did not have enough youths to fill up posts in our private and government sectors which are occupied by foreigners at present as if South Sudan have only educated ministers and Mps without literate youths.

A government who have forgotten youth:

The {youths} too have borne the brand of this mess we have in this government. We have come of ages to forming the government with expectations reaching its climax.

Our comrades in arms who we came along way from our bush government seemed to have lost or deleted memories we have had.  The life we have then is the life the youth live today. When youths question government’s policies, we are call hooligans or Niggers after they sought our help to fight the wars which placed them in the glittering offices and which others used to amass wealth and shift it abroad.

Our country has turned an Island of foreign countries. The foreigners are harassing, exploiting our youth and defiling our girls and raping our women. For instance, young girls are subjected to defilement by those who claim to be investing in our country in schools and businesses, elsewhere; foreigners are constantly threatening the lives of local populations with threat of arrests, our police and government officials are siding with international culprits, their nationalism is in question or might have been put to custody for tomorrow’s use. Foreign bankers speak their minds without fear so long as they have big eyed fellows in the name of share holders behind their drawers.

We have no voice, when we speak, we are accused of spreading odium or xenophobia and being lax enough to work, or we are not experienced enough to work in our government. After we sit back, we can see a foreigner ascending to government’s office and become our boss in our own land we reclaimed by blood.

NGOs too are becoming foreigners’ assets at our backyard, and this is not a concern to any institution in this country. Our pride has been wounded.  All this happening, our Assembly can’t commend in it though few of our intelligent legislators do raise the motion regarding this disaster, which our speaker denounced and said he needs time to study this motion whether it’s in line with government’s philosophy, a philosophy which says serve those in authority first and forget the future heirs.  The government has become that of individuals. Despite the will our president have, he can’t do everything alone without the help of the parliamentary institution. The Assembly has failed our people and its time we could say enough to Igga’s leadership.

Are we yet far from being a failed state?

It’s not anything worth denying that we are at a dangerous stage in this country. We have divided ourselves wide enough in political and social spheres. Our men and women in this government and the states turned our government into personal luggage. How can the unity in diversity be realized in south Sudan since those to whom our trust depends have gone wild for they have been galvanized by corruption (Stealing public monies)? We have created enough classes within us. This Party –the SPLM that I love– has been made a Party of those in leadership; they have created a social and political class within it that could further enable its fragmentation.

Those in leadership call themselves SPLM proper which is in itself stereotypical imbecile. The kin and kiths call themselves SPLM moderate, those they have fathered and mothered (foreigners included) are SPLM by proxies while those opponent of April 2010 general election (Independent candidates then), students who are eagerly wanting to work, fathers who have nothing to survive upon, mothers who are dying in child birth, children who struggle to ensure single meal a day form the last layer in this mollycoddle and misdemeanour hierarchy.

When we talk of hunger that has killed large number of our people, they say it’s an exaggeration and the death is malaria caused. When we talk about the price of basic food stuffs which are shooting high and or have reached the sky limit, the exploitation foreign businesses have had onto us, we are accused of laziness to tilt our lands and produce food despite insufficient rain fall.

When our big men and women in government encounter such a disaster, it’s because of government deliberate attempt to delay monthly salary and allowance of the workers. When we question some policies of government in the states, it’s because we are mean to SPLM leaders by the government.  Governors and their ministers have divided south Sudanese with a very high wall which serves as a political void amongst the citizens.

It’s another Berlin wall of South Sudan; this is another apartheid of South Africa in south Sudan. Why is it not a Berlin wall when we have SPLM proper whose single meal in an expensive hotel could pay 10 students their tuition fee or cater for the dying families of hunger for 200days– and non SPL M proper who are useless and have no future?

Why is it not a dividing wall when we have family to acquire education abroad and those who are told to be patient little longer till education bill is passed?  Why is it not apartheid of South Africa when we have rich class of our people (wealth accumulated from this country on swindling basis or looting by political psyche) who care less about this famine which has killed and still killing number of our people?

Why is it not apartheid when our strength is commensurate by our closeness to the ruling clique in this government? Why is it not apartheid when we are selective to those who can take up scholarships abroad and those who are not legible due to lack of family lineage and personal pedigree in that ministry?

I think our loving president doesn’t know this scheme going around in this government.  They have put our country on sell. They have implemented the policy of ‘we’ and ‘them’. ‘We’ referring to those cliques who have termed corruption a policy for Investment in future, and ‘them’ the struggling masses of south Sudan.

I think God too is not even fair with us. I wish God should have not allowed those good ones to perish leaving us the likes of Iggas to mess us around and bury our country alive.

Get me clear here my people, what we can do is not taking to the streets as others have done because taking to the streets means destroying our own infrastructure, remember;  our boss’s mansions/villas abroad!!  So never attempt to unwield or provoke any situation as an expression of our temperedness, you might destroy your own.

We need to urge our sleeping Assembly to help us from this exploitive mistreatment under the hands of foreign individuals and firms –not just turning our National house into their personal Leisure pub where they’re to midwife our country for Foreigners’ advantage.

Aken Ngor Tong (Aka Aken Pankon Ngor-Tong) is a south Sudanese, Humanitarian Worker and Freelancer based in the Republic of North Sudan. He can be reached at [email protected]

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