May 4, 2013 (SSNA) — Let’s start by answering the basic question of whether the SPLM led government in Juba – South Sudan is in any way capable of transforming this nascent country into the continent’s oasis of the much talked about democracy, whether that be under President Salva Kiir’s leadership or any one of his handful colleagues of the SPLM political Bureau for that matter?
To answer the above question one needs to look back into this quasi political party’s history and have a good look at all those skeletons it harbors in its cupboard. One will also need to check the party’s track records on good governance and the respect of human rights.
But above all you will need to acquaint yourself with the true nature of how this monstrous organization has feasted on its own supporters while promoting a limitless impunity as it rules without the least consideration of the supreme law of the country – which is none, but its own hand made transitional constitution of the new republic of South Sudan.
After you are done with the above then and only then can you qualify to pass a fair judgment and for that matter a verdict that strongly suggests how blindfolded the entire population of South Sudan remain to be while the SPLM under Salvatore Kiir Mayardit does away with every bit of that beautiful dream they once had when independence from the "Jallaba Rule" is finally attained. Why has everything beautiful that they had dreamt for themselves and the country they so dearly sacrificed for suddenly become only for the few privileged??
There is no way that the current leadership in the office can continue to boast of being any patriotic. And even though a few are still locked up in the nostalgia of the bush war and are rightly or not claiming some patriotism, again the truth of the matter is that, long gone are those old days. As sad and unfortunate as it is, what is practically left in front of us now is clearly a bunch of corrupted thieves and monsters who have long been intoxicated with powers to steal, kill, arrest and make to disappear with a total impunity.
Let me take you through one of this government’s showdowns and you will find it extremely nauseating to see the so-called leaders talk, and are being talked to, and being talked about.
It has been reported in the Sudan Tribune online May 1, 2013 (JUBA) , that the South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit said he would no longer tolerate members of his cabinet accusing the government they serve in of corruption, arbitrary arrest and human rights issues. Here I quote:
“He warned that he will no longer turn a blind eye to those in the cabinet who go outside the country to accuse his government of mismanaging the affairs of the nation while serving the same system”.[ST.]
And further to clarify his point that he is determined to spy on his ministers and all other officials, the president went on to add and I quote:
“From now on I will be tracking what cabinet ministers do and say when they leave the capital, Juba”. President Kiir stressed! [ST]
President Kiir determined to blackmail his cabinet members to the best of it left nothing to chance as he gave them [ministers and senior officials] all what he intended to say and frankly the president kept nothing behind, especially when he pointed the finger of corruption and extrajudicial killings at his cabinet members and senior officials.
This is what he said in Sudan Tribune:
“They talk as if they are not part of it [government] but if you follow them, you find they are the same people who are the ones involved in corruption. They are the ones involved in arbitrary arrest, but they come out in the day and say they are not part of it”, he said.
There you go now and you are left with only one conclusion in mind and that most arbitrary arrests in South Sudan are carried out on the instructions of more senior government officials both at federal and state levels. Some observers claim that many officials use it as an alternative method for silencing political opponents and critics of their performance. This is confirmed by Sudan Tribune as a wide belief held by the people of south Sudan.
Is Sudan Tribune rushing to conclusions here? Of course not! Otherwise how are we and any others expected to interpret the president’s words, when he squarely placed the entire blame on his cabinet members.
According to Mr. President these people [his ministers & senior officials] often commit these horrible crimes back home in south Sudan and when they are out of the country the same people go out to condemn the government for crimes that were committed by none but themselves.
Should Mr. president be telling the truth and in which case he is this time, we are then left with ministers who are not only the true culprits of the ills that befell our country, but they are also greedy hypocrites for they continue to operate together as a government or better still as brothers in loots, yet when confronted abroad with all the evidence that suggest a record breaking corruption, lack of vision and the absence of the rule of law , they become witnesses against their government which they continue to serve in.
Two things are clear here and it is that president Salva Kiir Mayardit himself is a hypocrite. Of course he has long been so. However in the case at hand the president is rightly an adamant hypocrite for the fact he without the least doubt has the full knowledge and in that case is completely aware of his senior officials’ short comings and their gross involvements in arbitrary arrests and surely as it implies to include all the extra judicial killings and disappearances.
Yet instead of holding these corrupt officials accountable, he [president] has for his own sake has chosen to rather use all these shortcomings as tools of blackmail against the officials with the intention to in return secure and guarantee their loyalty and silence. What a way to run a government and a country!!?
President Salva Kiir is undoubtedly disturbed by the US State Department’s country report on the nascent country of South Sudan. And he is rightly being worried and ashamed of those incidences of human rights violations, widespread rape, impunity, corruption, and the total absence of the rule of law. More unfortunate is the fact that each year’s report seems more worse than the one it preceded. No way can the president challenge these reports as they rain year after year since he too has openly accepted and declared in an open and broadcasted speech how his officials carried out these horrendous acts and yet go out of the country to play the role of the “good guys”.
As for the cabinet ministers and the SPLM senior officials, altogether with their security dogs, it’s only one thing – your boss has exposed you, locally, regionally, and internationally. In other wards worldwide you are known as the true culprits of the mess that RSS is in now. Of course the good news for you here is that these ex-posers don’t in any way spare the president. You are all in the mess together – remember this is true before Man & God!
Let’s reason out things well, for its no good to stab anyone from behind. The bottom line is that everything in this world has a price attached to it, and when you choose one, you also choose to pay the price. Those of us who choose to expose the mistakes of the government will continue to do so out of deeply rooted conviction to serve our country and people by the way of enlightenment and civic education.
Should anyone who chooses to accept a cabinet job under the current status quo and God forbid, then they must be prepared to relinquish being an opposition. It is said that” You can NOT eat your cake and still have it”, yet this very simple logic seems to be in shortcoming.
It is common knowledge that South Sudan is rapidly sinking under the weight of poor and visionless leaders. And although the whole thing now stings of corruptions, and impunity, yet many fainthearted opportunists are drawn towards serving under this administration for the simple fact that they too share the same genetic traits with those in office.
We all understand that many good guys have joined the system for the money and the privileges, however occasionally they are made to regret this decision when faced by the true rotten nature of the system – hence from time to time we hear some faint voices of dissent from within the corrupt cabinet itself.
Now the core issue here is all about why suddenly the president is repeatedly growing very nervous by the day as the year 2015 gets closer? The truth is that it’s all got to do with whether he can still maintain his precious chair in the No. 1 office amid all the political chaos and economic upheavals the country wide.
Initially President Salva Kiir Mayardit intended to pacify any power ambitions within the ruling SPLM by investing heavily in one corrupted cabinet after the other. Yet he failed and is now being challenged by his own deputy in what is an open secret. Are you in any way caught by surprise? I hope not. And to further reflect the internal power struggles, as you read these lines the ruling SPLM remains an unregistered party and with no certificate to operate per the RSS political party’s act 2012.
These are but a few of the chaos brought in by Mr. President in order to dilute any true patriotism in RSS. However in spite of this chaos there is only one way for the president to remain in power and that is through the ballot box. First for the chairmanship of his SPLM party, then another in 2015 if he is to dream of another term in office. Any attempt by the president to do otherwise will for sure open the Pandora box and all the unwanted devils will come down on South Sudan.
Remember it was this very president who warned his senior military officers against any coup to topple his government for the fact that the international community will not recognize such a step. Having said that he better also be quick to understand that the same international community will never continue to tolerate him or his government should he not allow for a free, fair and democratic elections first in his party, then the country come 2015.
Last but not least the message to the president and the people of South Sudan at large is that whether it pleases the leadership, plus or minus its loyalties, the international community is determined to help bring about a democratic transformation in South Sudan. In other words it’s all about South Sudan and never about Salva Kiir Mayardit or anyone within his in circles or even the organization..
My fellow compatriots! It’s for the sake of a better South Sudan, that we must endeavor very hard to see many more ministers and senior officials speak out and loud against corruption, impunity and the widespread disrespect of the rule of law.
Salvatore Kiir Mayardit can choose to dismiss officials who criticize is corrupted leadership style, but that will only make them appeal more to the electorates come 2015, than being enslaved within a rotten and an ailing system. Yet the true salvation lies beyond party politics and as for now the future of the worn out SPLM party and its crooked leadership are anybody’s guess.
Author: Justin Ambago Ramba. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.