July 26, 2012 (SSNA) — REPLY TO BRIAN ABEDA ON HIS ARTICLE TITLE: SPLM-DC SUPPORTS PORESIDENT’S PLANS TO DOWNSIZE SOUTH SUDAN CABINET
1. The issue of downsizing and forming a lean government in the Republic of South Sudan was a suggestion of the SPLM-DC in 2010 which was dismissed by the SPLM. So, if the President has come around to call for a lean government, then we welcome the idea. Not as a reaction, but as our original position.
2. Therefore, to claim that SPLM-DC has no alternative policies is the height of hypocrisy. We were the only party that contested election in 2010 with a written manifesto. The manifesto spelt out our policies in various fields. Again we are the only party that put a “Programme of Action” which again outlined the policies of the party on all aspects, including detailed priority projects for the country. If the writer has not seen those alternative policies, this does not mean that they do not exist.
3. The budget is just a small aspect of policy and is only for 12 months. IT CANNOT BE TAKEN TO BE THE MAIN ISSUE. The issue is the entire policies of the SPLM that are reflected in the budget. You should not take the symptoms for the disease. In addition to that our MPs in the National Legislative Assembly vigorously fought this sham budget.
4. When the SPLM-DC opposed the shutdown of oil production without proper study and clear alternatives, the writer was among those who condemned the party and called its members names. Now they are desperate for the resumption of export through Sudan’s pipeline to the extent of promising to give Khartoum money.
5. As to the absence of the Chairman from Juba, it is a non-issue. The Chairman has not stopped leading the party by being away, unless one suggests that leadership can be only through sustained presence in a place in this case Juba. By the way in this age of information technology, such a suggestion is absurd. SPLM-DC is not the only party whose leader does not live in the national capital. The SPLM-DC is an institution built on structures which are operating in the ten States of the Republic of South Sudan. It is not in the brief case of the Chairman to die when he is not physically around in Juba. Such thinking can come only from people used to dictatorship. The Chairman has been in Juba several times, and has been carrying out his duties wherever he has been. Our ship is sailing with the captain in full control.