July 26, 2013 (SSNA) — There is no point in wasting the readers’ time discussing the root causes of the current political hullabaloo in Juba, for the fact that all saw it coming, thanks to the IT plus the unique boldness enjoyed by people of South Sudan whenever they ascertain their political positions during tough times.
This time around President Salva Kiir chose to dismiss his entire cabinet, including his long serving vice president Dr., Riek Machar Teny. The consequences of having such a political vacuum in a struggling country like south Sudan could be anything from an all-out chaos to all kinds of uncertainties.
If anyone finds it too weird to dismiss an entire cabinet and opts to run a country as unstable as South Sudan, solo, and in the midst of a total political vacuum, then that person obviously is not General Salva Kiir Mayardit. Maybe it’s time that those who facilitated his ascension to this high office should start reevaluating their judgments now.
The SPLM political bureau has so much experimented on the people of South Sudan, so much so that the country has attracted all kinds of criticism, even from its own rank and file. But should any of the current nonconventional ‘Mayarditisation’ of the country become a source for embarrassments, the SPLM’s apologists will only have themselves to blame.
Although Friends and enemies alike have wondered why things don’t seem to work well in a land supposed to be “a heaven on earth” in terms of resources, the people of South Sudan seem to know where it all went wrong. The average citizen is well versed on the real problems facing the country. Unfortunately there isn’t even a single one in Kiir’s conscience when he bulldozed his entire cabinet down.
South Sudan has suffered so much over the years and its time that a spade is called a spade. Corruption and tribalism are two main problems that have for sure contributed in crippling this new country. Maybe a reshuffle in the government can offer a way out, if it is likely to deal away with these two vices.
But is the current reshuffle in anyway aimed at taking away the corrupt and tribalistic politicians and replacing them with trustworthy and not tribalistic ones?
Those who know the incumbent president also know that no way under Salva Kiir’s leadership can any of the above be achieved. And by all standards the incumbent president is himself a corrupted tribalistic politician. If you know who the country’s Chief Justice is or from where the Manager of the Central Bank of South Sudan hails, you will undoubtedly understand what type of a person our president is.
Salva Kiir’s latest mega scale ministerial purging exercise would have gone well had he [Kiir] ordered it in the wake of the $4b dollars theft. His amateuristic dealings with the case in which he sent letters to 75 prominent members of his ruling party requesting them to return the stolen money, should have in fact been accompanied by this scale of reaction.
Only now has Kiir shown his true colours to the people of South Sudan and the world at large. What we saw and heard on the eve of the recent political shake up was indeed a Kiir that is never intimidated by anyone. This goes to explain why he was too soft on the 75 officials. It also confirms that anytime should he have the political will to bring the 75 to book, he can do it without the least obstacle. But why use the same powers now and not before? Wait…….was there a conflict of interest? Or was he using the letters to blackmail the 75 into paying allegiance to him?
Back to the core issues of corruption, nepotism, cronyism and tribalism, it will be a total naivety to assume that the president has in any time worked to fight any of them. Dismissal of Dr. Riek Machar and Cdr. Pa’gan Amum will without the least doubt help the SPLM as a party to go down faster than we first anticipated, however until the whole monster comes crumbling down, it will continue to corrupt.
As for the wait for a new government, this may take a whole while, yet in the end Kiir will never come with a cabinet that can reflect anything different to what was dissolved. It is bound to share resemblance to all his former cabinets, albeit to be dominated by yes men.
And a new cabinet may win the battle for Kiir, but the war is still far from been won. Corruption will remain, possibly multiply. As for tribalism and nepotism, both are likely to become the rule and not the exception.
Dismissing Riek, Pa’gan, Kosti, and Deng Alor or the whole government as he did will only become fruitful in an event of a new president to preside over a government of technocrats. For none of this mega dismissals are in any going to stop the president’s relatives from breaking into the State House for some dollars to finance their newly acquired habits.
While President Kiir readjusts himself for more blunders, he has however succeeded for the time being to publicly humble his former colleagues, by his retaliatory presidential decrees.
Constitutional articles were quoted from all over the place to justify his moves and intentions. In the hurry even the very important ministry of Health was missed out in the initial declaration to be remembered only 24 hours later, but at the end he got his job done. Now where is the vision or the mission?
Is it that Kiir was quick to have his rivals for breakfast, before they had him for dinner? But that in short was purely a battle for survival. And that is what it was and not a political vision for South Sudan.
Justin Ambago Ramba is the Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party [USSP] party. He can be reached at: [email protected]