‘Tear down the SPLM’: will South Sudanese now respond?

By Elhag Paul

August 26, 2012 (SSNA) — Ayuen Panchol’s call for the democratisation of RSS and the tearing down of SPLM is highly welcome.  Though it is reasonable, desirable and absolutely an essential suggestion to end the dangerous and gradual shift of RSS into a one party state, sycophants such as Isaiah Abraham whose main interest is to promote tribalism and corruption have not taken it well. 

Isaiah Abraham is all over the place exerting unnecessary energy to shoot down Ayuen Panchol’s noble call to the ground with nothing but weasel words.  This character who endlessly contradicts himself in his prolific writings is not worth paying attention to.  At one point he is a staunch supporter of president Kiir and at another point he is vehemently against the president calling for his resignation or overthrow.  Then within a short period he would be back praising president Kiir and asking the people to rally behind him.  Not taking long he would be back to his faithful support to Dr Riek as an alternative to president Kiir.  When he is in this mode, he advocates for unity of the Nuer and Jieng against all the other tribes of South Sudan to ensure power remains with the two groups.  But for no good reason he would switch to lambasting the Nuer as violent people and should not be trusted with power.  He always forcefully without shame argues in the face of naked evidence that SPLM is not a failure.  http://www.southsudannation.com/totearsplmbadidea%20isaiahabram%2078.htm What type of a character is this Isaiah Abraham? Even the term ‘political prostitute’ would not suffice to describe his quasi psychotic behaviour. 

One thing for certain, Isaiah Abraham is devoid of any values in life.  His writings when analysed reveal a person lacking integrity, values and credible ideology.  He appears to have no clue of what is good for the country.  He epitomizes the Oyee party – a confused 20th century organisation without a credible ideology ruling the country.  Their Bible was the concept of New Sudan.  They shouted loud that they found a panacea for the country. 

Ironically, in the then liberated territory under their control they could not even implement the concept of New Sudan.  Life in the so called liberated areas was devoid of law and order.  Raping, looting, killings etc was the order of the day.  What they produced was worst than the system they were fighting in the Old Sudan.  This project having been exposed by the poor behaviour of SPLM/A as empty was rejected by South Sudanese on 15th January 2011 when they chose to secede.  In effect SPLM was stripped of its only instrument that allowed it to sell itself locally, regionally and internationally. 

Since the death of this ideology of New Sudan the organisation has remained without any ideology or vision for running the country now.  Ask any Oyee member what they stand for and what programme are they offering the country, you would be surprised to hear the err err err err …the vision eh   the chairman eh…you know ehhhhhhhhhh……….like a child caught out in a mischievous act without explanation.  Hence the chaos in the Republic of South Sudan.

Which brings us to the prophetic words of Ayuen Panchol, ‘Democratise South Sudan: Tear Down SPLM, please!’  Isaiah Abraham may fret, whine, whinge and psychotically strive to distract people’s attention from Ayuen Panchol’s clearly thought out solution to our country.  But this will not work.  People are seeing the colossal failures of the Oyee party on daily basis.  Its leaders are mercilessly squirreling away the resources of the country to foreign countries for safe keeping for themselves. http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/5776 They are irresponsibly sending soldiers to die in unnecessary wars like the Panthou war.  They are failing to protect the interest of RSS in negotiations with the Sudan.  They are constantly ceding land to the Sudan.  They have antagonised the whole world and turned the country to an object of hate.  They have failed to provide services be it health, education, housing, creation of jobs etc and mismanaging the country.  They drove the country into a status of a failed state. 

The president is the only one amongst his equals in the world to be known as a lair.  Mr Gerard Prunier, a former senior GoSS’ advisor described the rulers of RSS or should I say SPLM leadership as “idiots ……. rotten to the core”.  With such damning comment, can anyone doubt Ayuen Panchol’s call really? To try to pretend like Isaiah Abraham that SPLM is doing well in power is tantamount to taking the people for fools.  This is delusions of grandeur and it is best if he is left alone in that quasi psychotic state to delude himself.

True South Sudanese like Ayuen Panchol and Ayeng Jacqueline Ajak who expressed her view in “Let’s try to reform our people. A Dinka woman’s point of view on Madi land issue” published in February 2009 by South Sudan Nation are leading the way in the Jieng community to do the right thing for the country.  South Sudanese should stand up with them.  They are caring of the country and its people.  These are individuals who have demonstrated their human values.  They say things as they are.  If South Sudan had the majority of its population with the likes of Ayeng and Ayuen, the country today would be a different place to live in and Oyee would have been history. 

SPLM Oyee has no mandate to govern South Sudan.  They imposed themselves on the people fraudulently.  The mandate that they got through the rigged elections of April 2010 technically expired with the break up of the Sudan into two countries on 9th July 2011.  However, shamelessly they cobbled together a shoddy constitution claiming that the expired mandate gave them the right to continue ruling the country for another five years. How can a mandate obtained in a dissolved country become the basis for ruling in a brand new country?  This made no sense and still makes no sense now but SPLM Oyee is abusing the SPLA to maintain itself in power. 

Instead of SPLA being the national army it has been reduced to a party militia.  The refusal of the ruling party to legally outlaw the use of the name SPLA from being used on the army as demanded by the shoddy constitution serves to psychologically keep the people in check.  The message is this: SPLM and SPLA are one and inseparable.  If you do not want SPLM it means that you do not want SPLA and therefore if you do not want SPLA you are an enemy and so both SPLM and SPLA are going to fight you.  So, if you do not want SPLM in power, SPLA is going to fight you to maintain SPLM in power.  This is a strong psychological disabler and it is the tragedy that RSS is locked into.  Where on this earth do you find a national army and a political party as interchangeable?  It is only in South Sudan and this is an abuse of the institution of defence by the Oyee party.  This arrangement should not be entertained because eventually it will lead into serious rebellions and destruction of the country.  No party should have militia. Period.  Only the state should have the monopoly of force and not anybody else.

Ayuen Panchol has correctly diagnosed SPLM’s continuation in power and through this power its abuse of state institutions and resources as the main obstacles to development and progress in RSS.  SPLM remains a cancer in the politics of RSS and its continued running of the country is a sure way of sinking RSS and all its people.  In this light Ayuen Panchol should be taken seriously.  He provides a bold prescription as a way forward.  Being a child of SPLM – someone born to SPLM/A parents during the struggle and grew up in the bush and ended up as a player in the struggle gives him immaculate credentials to speak about SPLM as an insider.  His knowledge of SPLM/A can not just be brushed aside.  The very blood that keeps Ayuen Panchol alive is made of SPLM/A material.  His DNA is SPLM/A. 

So if Ayuen Panchol now says with confidence that the SPLM Oyee party must be torn down to give room for democracy in RSS, then this is worth taking seriously.  The young man has envisioned a prosperous South Sudan without the Oyee party.  Those Doubting Thomases’ in the Oyee party should wake up and listen to him.  They need to do some soul searching on this issue.  It is inconceivable that Ayuen Panchol could have called for the slicing of his party if he had not reached the conclusion that RSS is in danger of being destroyed by the Oyee machine.

The question then is: how can the Oyee machine be torn down?  The simplest but complicated answer is for its dissatisfied members to vote with their feet and join other parties.  This is not likely to happen for two reasons.  First as a tribal organisation of gangs (please see http://www.southsudannation.com/thefirstannivofindep%20elhagpaul%2078.htm, the majority who make up the bulk of the party are not literate and they do not have the skills to read the situation correctly as Ayuen Panchol has done.  Deserting SPLM means bringing down SPLM.  To them this is seen as self destruction.  They are unable to see the big picture which is a well governed country for the good of everyone.  People in this category include Isaiah Abraham who is prepared to see the country sink as long as SPLM is on the saddle regardless of its incompetence and abuses of power. 

The second problem lies with the opportunists – call them ‘eaters’.  This is the worst group society can have.  They have no allegiance to anybody but their tummies.  These lost souls seem to have no idea why they are on this planet.  As beneficiaries of the corruption they will continue to support the system until they are sure of its demise before they switch to side with the strong to continue on with their opportunism.  Examples abound.  Think of those NCPs who devoted their lives under Bashir to fight the SPLM/A but soon after independence quickly wore the SPLM garment even though it is soiled and stinks.

This leaves us with members of the Oyee party who do not hail from the ruling tribe.  This group is vital if the Oyee machine is to be torn apart as prescribed by Ayuen Panchol.  They should vote with their feet to join other parties.  Their joining of those parties must not be conditioned on tribe but rather on convergence of ideology and policies.  They need to scrutinise the ideology and policies of the party they wish to join.  If such party meets their aspiration then let them join it regardless of who the leader of that party is. 

They must look at the personality of the person and not the outward characteristics of social groupings.  It is that thing inside us (moral conscious) which makes us humans that matters and not the social group we belong to.  It is that thing that makes us emphasise and feel the pain of others regardless of who they are.  It is that thing that gave us the feeling of disgust when Deng Athuai Mawir was abused that matters.  It is that thing that revolted us when people in Warrap, Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states were starving to death from famine that matters.  And it is this very thing that also allows us to forge friendships and relationships across the board based on hobbies, ideologies etc. 

What I mean here is that let us search for parties with good ideologies and skilful humane leaders who value humanity and the well being of all regardless of tribe.  Let the social contract we have entered into with the creation of the Republic of South Sudan in the form of constitution and the law be the dispenser of justice and fairness to all instead of tribal bigotry as is the case now.   If we put our faith in the constitution and operationalise it as it should, then it should protect each and everyone of us thus eliminating fear and the need to seek clan or tribal safeguards and this would be the first step towards busting tribalism.

Further way of tearing down the Oyee party is for all of us to demand for a formation of interim government of national unity involving all the stake holders in South Sudan.  The main function of this government should be to: 1) draft a truly democratic constitution which is not skewed to support one party or to pave the way for a one party state as now being done by the Oyee party.  2) arrange for credible free and fair elections to produce a legitimate government of South Sudan.

The Oyee party claims that it is a democratic government, but as you can see this is not the case.  A democratic government is a government that comes to power through the ballot box.  The Oyee party did not come to power through the vote; it rather imposed itself on the people waving SPLA as its militia to browbeat any dissenter into line.  Its working module is totally divergent from the principle of democracy.  In a democracy the separation of powers is clear and genuine.  It is not a matter of forcing some shoddy constitution enshrining few aspects of democracy and then singing about it as a democracy.  No Sirs!  That is not democracy.  That is totalitarianism wrapped in democratic foil.  In a democracy the separation of powers are implementable and are seen to work. 

Let us look now at the separation of power in GoSS.  Theoretically as in the shoddy constitution there is the executive, then the legislature and judiciary.  Each of these is supposedly to be independent and powerful enough to call any of the others to account.  If the president abuses the constitution then the parliament can hold him/her to account.  If the parliament legislates contrary to the constitution the judiciary is to arbitrate on it to ensure the constitution is respected.  If the courts abuse their powers, the appeal process in the Supreme Court can be invoked or parliament can intervene to right the wrong and so this is how the government is supposed to function. 

However in GoSS, the shoddy constitution though enshrines these principles it does not implement it because the executive (the ruling Oyee party) is behaving roguishly as if it is still in the bush.  They violate everything in their own constitution to do what they want.  Take for example, the president for no good reasons awards 3 million dollars to a company without any contractual agreement for services.  Nobody knows why the money is released and to whose benefit.  It is doubtful whether this company is even registered in the country.  The parliament instead of carrying out vigorous investigation ‘dances around’ the issue in fear of the president (Laila Lokosang 2012).  The reason being the president if angered can dissolve the parliament at will as per constitution and appoint new cronies.  The empowerment of the president to a status of king by the shoddy constitution has hugely damaged and curtailed healthy functioning of state machinery. 

Turning to the judiciary, this body is to say the least hopeless.  It is packed to a large extent by unqualified tribal barons whose function is to service the wheels of tribalism and corruption.  A good example of the hopelessness of this body can be seen in how the case of Arthur Akuen versus Pagan Amum concerning corruption was handled.  The case was used to hash corruption and chasten freedom of speech and press.  There are numerous examples that can be drawn to prove beyond doubt that there is no democracy in RSS.  Now, this is only on the issue of separation of powers.  If we go deeper into the important aspects of democracy such as freedom of association, freedom of movement, multiparty system, freedom of press, freedom of speech, and right of the individual the examples that can be drawn in South Sudan are horrifying to mention.  .

President Kiir and his Oyee ruling party have demeaned the institutions of governance in the country.  That can not be right because South Sudan has the people to manage that country efficiently to world standard.   Unfortunately Oyee has driven the country already to a status of a failed state because the state mechanisms that are supposed to provide checks and balances have all been disabled deliberately to allow tribalism and corruption to flourish to enrich the Oyee party fat cats unlawfully.  In short, president Kiir and the Oyee ruling party are not only dictators in power unto themselves, but destroyers of the state. 

Oyee is a disaster and as Ayuen Panchol has rightly said let us tear it down.  In this 21st century it is an affront to have an organisation that mirrors 20th century organisation such as the Dirge regime (that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991) ruling South Sudan.  Ayuen Panchol has thrown down the gauntlet.  Will South Sudanese now search their souls and respond with dignity to safeguard their country and humanity from being trashed by Oyee party. 

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

The Author lives in the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached at [email protected]

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