By James Monyluak De Mijok Thon, Lethbridge, Western Canada
November 27, 2011 (SSNA) — Brief backgrounds (work experience, educational attainments, and other necessary elements, including the photo of the appointee) should always be made available to the public by the government at the time of the appointment.
This is due to the fact that many of our citizens are almost always sceptical about anything and everything that happen in South Sudanese politics, which translate to the lack of accountability and transparency in the political systems.
Since the formation or inception of Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) in 2005, many political appointments through Presidential Decrees, have taken and still taking place after the independence of RSS.
The most recent appointments include those of Chief Justice of Republic of South Sudan, Governor of BOSS, 27 Ministers along with their Deputies, the 60 Council of State MPs, the Chairpersons of the Independent Commissions or Heads of Specialize Committees, and many more.
Moreover, the same appointments took place during the Interim-Period (2005-June 2011). In both appointments and especially after the independence of RSS, many had and still have the much anticipation of professionalism, accountability, and transparency of the government of the day in Juba.
Citizens of RSS expected their government to always inform them about the new political figures’ backgrounds, who are assigned to run the public affairs in given ministry or positions. But nothing materializes. What happened during the Inter-Period (appointments without availing the backgrounds of appointees) could be counted as part of the many inconveniences at the time.
Now that we have a country with all institutions up and running, the government should always be open to its citizens when it comes to legal and political processes such as political appointment and dissolution of its employees considered as public trustees entrusted to run the political systems.
Importance of availing public figure biography to the public:
The importance of availing their biographies to the public will always serves the purpose of confidence building between the government, public figures, and the citizens. This too, will answer some questions out there of who is this appointee or these appointees.
Thus, the processes of appointing them (government figures) are questionable, knowing their backgrounds are the most important thing to know than anything else at this point in time.
When their backgrounds such as past work experiences and other necessary elements, including their photos and educational attainments, are availed, people will get to know a little about them. This is part and parcel of the accountability and transparency as far as good governance or democracy is concern. The past, especially the bad part, should always not be repeated; a new beginning and acceptable way of doing things is the only way forward. RSS people will not accept anything less than full accountability and transparency.
Unless the government in charge of appointment avail the biographies of its new employees to the public, the question of who they are will always remain to be asked.
That being said, the next political appointees should always have brief biographies availed to the public so the public learn about their past experiences or be informed about new assignments.
How it is done:
In the most developed countries, for example, in Western countries, the President or other governmental in charge of the appointment (s) hold a news briefing with the media with the new charged figure alongside him/her at the podium. The president then announces that public figure- his/her name, the past experience or why the president or so is convinces to entrust that particular person with governmental or public responsibility.
If the government cannot announce or explains their backgrounds for whatever inconveniences, a photo with written background statement of that new governmental employee (s) should always be given to the media to read it out to the public instead.
The public expectation of a new appointee:
Once the announcement is made by the employer, the government in that matter, the appointee then briefly gives his/her statement of appreciation to the person in charge of the appointment. This followed by some promises by the new employee to the public that s/he will work collaboratively with the person in charge of the appointment to make sure that all the expectations of the governed are met. These are of course normal promises and procedures that are always made by the politicians in the real world of politics.
These promises and pledges serve to energize the base of the governed in the sense that they will once more be optimistic and hopeful when they are assured of their basic rights…and with some sort of responsible government and effective leadership…
The media role:
The media such as SSTV, and other Radio Services in RSS, should also play some major roles by going after these new employees and interview them about new their political roles. They should ask them with some most expected questions-their past work experiences, why they think they are best choices for the job (s), and their expectations or what they hope to accomplish so far.
The way forward:
South Sudanese government must learn how to do political businesses professionally in a new era of accountability and transparency. President Kiir maybe busy with other political activities if you will, but what about his political advisors, can’t they advise him on this issue of availing the backgrounds of the governmental appointees to the public when the public need to know them and they should.
The citizens of RSS ought to know their political trustees’ backgrounds when appointed into the public offices. Unlike the past, there are no excuses of why their backgrounds should not be made available to the public in this new era of freedom and sovereignty. There are soft, and hard or print media today in the country and they should play major roles in transmitting this kind of information to the public as part of their overall job description and responsibility.
James Monyluak De Mijok Thon is Sociologist and Writer living in Western Canada reachable @ [email protected]