South Sudan needs visionary leaders not some habitual constitution violators!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba

May 15, 2013 (SSNA) — The wonderful readers may agree with me that the problems of the nascent state of South Sudan is not confined to issues to do with the constitution, be that the current transitional constitution or the much publicized permanent constitution which is in the making.

This is not in any way to belittle the role of the constitution here, but rather to bring to light that these constitutions are subject to manipulations and violations under the current ruling clique. They [Kiir & company] can easily do it at any stage of the process from the point of inception to the point of adoption, and the current transitional constitution is a living example of that.

Another important issue is the national healing and reconciliation process which has already exposed   the current leadership’s incapability to oversee such a grant national exercise especially when it has spectacularly failed to initiate an internal reconciliation within the same ruling party. The bishops, yes they have been brought in.

But how are they [bishops] going to instill the needed will into these former rebel commanders  turn politicians starting with the top man himself to accept to go back to apologize to their victims or their  living relatives. That is the South African way and that’s only how it can work in South Sudan. The perpetuators and the victims must come face to face!

On the other hand many people have been subjected to arbitrarily arrests throughout Salva Kiir and the SPLM intelligentsia’s tenure in office since they last stopped being rebels. Not surprising of course it has been the Press Community which has so far suffered the most as they continue to expose the wrong doers, however many other victims have as well included people from every section of the South Sudanese society. Many too were extrajudicial killed in the hands of government’s secret agents.

Sadly enough, if that is the right expression, all these violations to the basic human rights of the victims had taken place and continue to do so in the presence of the country’s transitional constitution. This is a constitution that approves the freedom of expression, but also provides every citizen the right to a fair hearing in a court of law.

So where have we the citizens gone wrong to be victimized this much? And is it an issue about having a constitution when we already have one or is it about a bunch of people in office who prefer to violate the constitution?

With the above introduction we can now delve into the core issue no other than the ingrained attitude by President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his inner circles to run the country in a way that only serves their groups interest.

This leadership’s history in office over the last eight years or so is more than enough to justify every statement that portrays Kiir Mayardit’s leadership as non-visionary.

We know that president Salva Kiir still has a handful supporters of fainthearted opportunists who have themselves out preformed their boss on several occasions,  in as far as the abuse of power is concerned.  Is it not the case when the president went ballistic in his speech to his cabinet and senior officials accusing them of back stabbing the government in which they serve?

This is what he said:  Sudan Tribune (01/05/ 2013): and I quote:

“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.

Given the president’s above acknowledgment that his ministers are behind those heinous crimes committed the nationwide, much of his statement can go all the way to not only unravel the mystery surrounding the death of the 25-year-old former traffic officer from Mayom County of the Unity State (the Western Upper Nile).

According to the relatives’ story in the public media, the deceased young man had gone to a nearby shop on the 28 March, where he went missing and never to return home.  Two days later his body was found dumped behind Hon. Salva Mathok, the RSS deputy minister of Interior’s house, with traces of blood also leading to the deputy minister’s house now suspected by the relatives to be the likely
crime scene.

He [president] also acknowledged the many arbitrary arrests taking place all across the country at the directives of his cabinet ministers and government senior officials as highlighted in his quoted speech.

If you didn’t know yet – then better know now that two well-known journalists in Juba, Michael Koma and Alfred Taban have been harassed, detained, and repeatedly interrogated on the directives of the deputy minister of interior in spite of the fact that he [Mathok}  stands very tall in the centre of this barbaric crime.

Don’t you agree with me my  dear reader – that any sound minded individual would have seen the relevancy of the office of the prosecutor-general handling this murder case, completely on its own without having to involve the ministry of interior so as to avoid any conflicts of interest?  This is a very important point if we are to talk of justice in the true sense of the word.

In this case injustice is already in the making since Hon. Salva Mathok is considered as the prime suspect by the relatives of the deceased young man and still he refuses to resign his position so as to allow for an impartial investigation. By so doing he has already compromised the position of the government department [ministry of Interior] that he continues to supervise.  And add to it his subsequent actions towards these journalists; you can NEVER miss to see the obstruction of Justice being committed in a broad day light.

Of course no one out there is too naïve not to understand that officials like Salva Mathok have all the approval to not only enjoy impunity in a case as big as this murder crime now at hand, but he can as well go on unquestioned by the president to further abuse his position by detaining those journalists for publishing articles presented to them by the relatives of the deceased.

Hon. Salva Mathok is a classic example of President Kiir’s loyalists who enjoy the unlimited freedom to corrupt with impunity as long as they fulfill the boss’s criteria of being good members of the cabinet i.e. ministers who acknowledge that the freedom allowing them to commit all sorts of corruption and immoralities has been availed to them by the president who in turn expects them to remain loyal to his person as much as possible.

And as long as these loyal ministers and senior officials stick to the president’s terms, they will continue to enjoy their ministerial positions and be protected by the government and the president. This is a president whose sole concern is how to remain in power regardless of all the living hell his leadership is delivering on the poor masses, day and night.

A leadership that has ruthlessly presided over one of the most corrupt regimes in human history throughout its eight years in office should only be told that enough is enough.

Furthermore it’s no longer any secret how some people lose their position in Salva Kiir’s government while others who are indeed true embodiments of corruption and theft remain to serve. This is not difficult to decipher, for the whole thing is all about whether a corrupted official eats alone or shares his/her loot with the boss.  What that means is everybody’s guess.

Here we are in front of a leadership that has no respect for any form of constitution or institution. We are all witness to how the Interim constitution was repeatedly violated all through the six years that followed the CPA.

Again from 9th July 2011 following the declaration of Independence to date the so-called transitional constitution although meticulously tailored to slim fit the President – yet he too has failed to honour it.

Thus those who wrongly assume that the way out of RSS mess can be found in the coming permanent constitution while retaining the same visionless and grossly incompetent leadership are in fact trying to  indefinitely postpone any hopes of the country  to change for the better.

They too are playing against the basic rule which says he or she who fails to do well in small thing cannot handle big things. South Sudan’s future in what is now the 21st century – the digital age – is no domain for the current crude leadership style!

If you have been told that there are no other people in the whole of South Sudan who can better rule the country besides the current leadership on top of them president Salva Kiir Mayardit and his deputy Dr. Riek Machar and you happen to believe that, then my fellow you must have been exposed to the worse type of “brainwashing” – that’s if of course if I thought you actually have the brain to be washed in the first place!

The monstrous nature of the current totalitarian government that is on its final march to become a “One Man Rule” will continue to multiply with each and every day Salva Kiir Mayardit remains in office.

Evidence after evidence has shown beyond any reasonable doubt that president Salva Kiir’s has developed an uncontrollable tendency to over-ride all the country’s constitutions and institutions, a fact only made easier by the transitional constitution specially cooked for him by his co-conspirator Hon.  John Luk Jok [his current minister for Legal Affairs] in return for a foothold in the president’s inner circles and of course a ministerial position that is likely to extend as far as Kiir remains in office.

“Many agreements dishonoured”, is a familiar impression that an average citizen of South Sudan holds against the subsequent Jallaba governments that ruled and continue to rule in the republic of Sudan. However not very long following our independence, we now have a leader who stands for nothing but “Many Promises dishonoured”.

And the fact that even after nearly a decade in office president Salva Kiir is still looking forward for yet another term in office is a clear evidence of his political and power greediness which is going to be a frank obstacle to the peaceful transfer of power in the nascent country.

A leader with this kind of attitude is also likely to do everything he can to remain in office even if that means dropping whole chapters or articles from the country’s constitution at its best – or can even go to length arresting or   liquidating opponents and those perceived as potential enemies while doing way with the constitution all together.

These are some of the core issues for you to consider my fellow compatriots. The earlier we acknowledge it today and move to eliminate it from taking root the better – before it is too late to salvage anything.

In other wards we can go all the way and write the most wonderful permanent constitution in the whole universe, but as long as we are still ruled by the current leadership or any of its kind, the constitution may not even be worth the paper or the ink used!

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party [USSP]. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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