Political months Ahead: How Kiir manoeuvred his deputy and neutralised his venom

By: Lueth Bol Dengker

June 26, 2013 (SSNA) — The south Sudan’s leadership conference will be an interesting episode to watch. It will be an all-out war. However, the most interesting part is when the top two will perhaps go one on one. Whoever wins, will win by a knock-out, not by points. This is the only way you can win a match and embarrass a referee, who is squaring up with your opponent to influence the outcome otherwise.

Political landscape

The current and future political landscape in the south Sudan is apparently poisonous-one that everybody fears, and a rocky place to ride. In such environment, only political Asti odes will survive. The SPLM convention will mark water shed and protests for the politicians who will not make it. But those protests will add salt to the wound .Regional conferences have been conducted, with Bhar-el-gazel, endorsing president kiir .Equatoria, might have followed a similar note. If that endorsement is anything to go by, then the president will take it all.

With the upper Nile region left, and from the look of things, Machar’s supporters may outnumber the incumbent’s, and toe the line to endorse him. There are no significant inroads that such a move could alter the overwhelming balance of support for the president, before the election. On the other side of the coin, you will find out that the opposition parties are climbing a ladder without steps. This means that they have no formidable platform or network that will bring diverse thinking intellectuals together to post a powerful opposition to the government. I wanted to say that the opposition parties are comprised of a group of “garden boys” who are neither team players nor game changers. Whatever, they articulate is a “bear hall talk” and a cosmetic exercise simultaneously.

As I have already stated, in a future to be seen, the most primary decisions and policies are made within SPLM party structures and will continue to do so. This is because the SPLM is the most irreversible tsunami of south Sudan’s politics. You must be a 140 pounds political giant, to be able to instigate a wind of change, against such a dominant party.

The outcome of political debates and political battles in the SPLM and its branches will continue to shape the content of the government. The key role modules in this arena are the SPLM and the SPLMYL and possible alliances.

The SPLM youth league, under its current leader has been a mouth piece since the days of our late leader, and is perpetuating the same nature now, upon which I can assert that; there is no leadership in the youth league, because the current leadership, has elements factored with selling -out the legacy of the youth league and a double agent – abusing the league’s platform to save the master at all costs. With his sell-out tendencies, his master will be be-abled to capitalise. He is a traitor who can never be trusted to carry out the mandate of the youth to its logical conclusion.

The league is in disarray, however, current status of the youth wing will not change the outcome of that conference then, or in 2015 general elections, but it will dramatically do thereafter. The youth fells that they are not represented because the current leadership constitutes the group of “house boys” who were nominated at the back yard, not whom the youth elected, and only represents the interest of the master less they are fired. It is highly inconceivable that a house boy can easily be turned against his master unless his master is deposed.

This is why it is crucial to comprehend the style of contest within the SPLM and its youth wing by measuring the roles each will eventually play when the battle is at stake. Who wins the war or who wins the battle, will be determined by the dynamics of such styles in across the spectrum.

One of these styles is that; patronage rather than ideology is now the key inertia of the SPLM politics and will shape the run up to the convention. It is still inevitable to discern some ideological consistency’ regarding the factions that coalesced around Dr Machar and President Kiir. Kiir, looks set to defy the political harmony and that is where his problem is’ because if he doesn’t, he risks losing power. And if he continues defying the SPLM Legacy; it’s not a sin to second Machar’s warning that; SPLM will be a “football”. 

What makes the president so irritant rather articulate is that; he knows’ once he lose power, he will never be back to the throne and he would have gone a failed president. He must have tasted the glory of being in the state house and insists not to buy that luxury of losing it. So, he will do anything in his power to win by hook or crook. You may level him incompetent at your own peril. But that is not the point. In Africa you don’t have to worry about being a success or a failure, or even abuse of human rights. What you need to do is, steal public money, build mansions and buy the poor to vote for you when it comes to elections. Question is; how long are you going to be stealing? There is no doubt’ the buyers and the bought are all thieves. The difference is; the buyer is the big thief and the bought is the small thief, all bear the same conviction.

If you still are wondering what simple strategy Mr “Tiger” is capable of, then you might not have monitored his personality from the angle of incident.

It is simple; smile and laugh in the public, but in reality you behave like a monster, a tyrant who will target perceived enemies without mercy, and because of that fear few dare to speak openly." That is why in South Sudan, everybody feels irritated even with a closest friend because majority has become a security personnel. In this regard, people fear the army of spies that surround the crown. Without a code of conduct, not because those codes do not exist, but because they have relentlessly been violated, these spies are fiercely willing to silence discerning voices of reasons by detention, brutal attacks or even massacre them, in an effort to install complete fear in the “opposing and opposition” in order to take full control of the embattled party and build a fault consensus, that will pave the way for a long reign of the incumbent and subsequently seal power struggle.

As I strongly suggest that power should remain in Bhar-el-gazel for some time {I understand it is not a kingdom}, I also belief in the accommodation of those individuals who have the potential. You can call me silly, stupid and many more, in so much that I would, if you do not agree with me that we, Bhar-el-gazelese have been the face of the revolution and had been extremely sidelined in the leadership circles during the struggle. Power, being in Bhar-el-gazel, is a privilege, the same way as it has been for Upper Nile years ago, and I belief we are not immune to the chance we have now. However, we do need to be killers, dictators and triblists, rather act as people holding the keys of authority and perfection.

However, the run-up to the national convention is primarily about access to state resources for the benefit of particular interest groups irrespective of their ideological attributions.  It is for this reason that SPLM and its alliances, will stand behind Kiir. It also explains why the president striped his vice of the powers he once was given ,and why he purged those rumoured to topple him, replacing them with his closest, allies in order to strengthen his grip on the party.

While there is a group of the discontented fellas, those opposed to the president has not consolidated into a coherent faction, and consists of a spiralling, confused and an often realigning mess, a group of power angry politicians without an agreed champion’. Indeed, the vice president has put himself in this uncomfortable spot, by availing himself to run for presidency. Mr Machar needs to calculate his steps well. First, he must know that he is not going to win. Secondly, if he runs against the incumbent, and doesn’t win, he will most certainly lose his position within the SPLM and in the government. If, by sympathy, he is retained, then he will lose influence because he would have been neutralised.

The author of this article, is a south Sudanese living in Australia. He can be reach at [email protected]

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