Category: Politics

Resumption of Oil Production signed: What’s next plan for new nation?

BY: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, JUBA, SEP. 30/2012, SSN; Good news, great smiles all over South Sudan, for the reason that the oil pipeline is reopened but it’ll only lead to the downfall of the economy of South Sudan. Our government is now in a fix, though it’s worthy to forward our sincere appreciation to President Kiir for his selfless negotiation even though these deals are seen as partial agreements.

The main problem is surely resolved, but citizens of South Sudan ask themselves with great muse of what’s the next plan for this nation?

Our big fishes have been moaning about lingering rumors of downsizing of ministries. The stress seems to have been eased by the resumption of oil production and this is good news because now more GXR, V8s and Hummers are going to flow into our impecunious young nation very soon.

In this agreement, the group most celebrating is that of President Bashir of Sudan whose government was experiencing continuous austerity protests while President Kiir with his group were just singing their songs of the movements in Juba since his citizens are at a quiescence because they have never ever experienced any better living conditions since creation of this world.

President Mayardit is a lucky man surely; he, who rules the uninformed population. Lucky you, Mr. President with your main group!

This is a nation whose citizens have been waiting to see any initial measure of economical developmental planning such as employment, agricultural development and control of their own resources.

But worse, however, is that Juba has become a city with no water pipeline systems. We are buying our own water from foreigners who came with mounted water tank vehicles to sell us our own water from Nile River. Does South Sudan have a Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation really?

If we have any, what kinds of work are ascribed to this particular ministry or which ministry is responsible for conveyance of water pipeline system in the city?

The problems have never been with a single ministry but most of them; for example the Ministry of Public Service and Human Resources Development is also in bracket for it has failed to do its job. People failed to understand which kind of Human Resources Development is it doing since its set up.

The ministry totally failed to recognize the ways forward to develop Human Resources in new nation. Young people who’re graduates, school leavers, etc, are moving up and down along the streets because they could not meet the conditionality of 7-10 and above years work experience that’s always put in every job advertisement.

Here, whoever isn’t a 10 years experienced graduate will never be shortlisted either. When did South Sudan emerge out of war for people to get all those years work experience?
This makes all the opportunities go to foreigners who got their work experiences from heaven, when their nations got independent, as it is the thinking of our people.

Now foreign companies do come to this country with their own list of workers right away from their respective countries because South Sudanese graduates are termed to be inexperienced people. Does work experience fall on people from heaven?

What does the Ministry of Human Resources Development make of this? I think nothing because we are waiting for work experiences to fall from heaven for our young energetic graduates of South Sudan.

South Sudanese young men and women have totally forgotten the jobs that are being provided in the Private Companies. But this particular ministry failed us one way or another; you find all drivers, marketeers, managers, cleaners, the list is long; are all foreigners. Does this ministry of public service know this really?

We have made our nation to become a NO-rules state in a sense that most foreign or Private Companies think of any kind of unfair business to be carried out in South Sudan.

Since Juba became an erratically developing city, all the types of crimes being committed like bank robberies by armed groups and even daylight robberies have become widespread problems aggravating the security situations in Juba.

Even beggars come from foreign states and settle in South Sudan to do the job of begging; what of our poor beggars? I don’t know which methods do they use to convince the border securities that allow them to enter? What is the work of the Interior ministry at this point?

I am not against my brothers and sisters who are foreign beggars but just indicating problems facing this young nation generally. It is importantly good to cooperate but cooperation without control brings in unexpected evils; being citizens or whoever is affected will later complain but who is going to be accountable? Government of South Sudan is the one!

It is internationally known very well that borders should be protected, controlled and well secured even though we are brothers and sisters as these are the common words we use to term Ugandans and Kenyans, as well as they term us so too.

Well, it is OK, but the fallout we will experience surely and indeed will be shoddier than if our government would put control measures to allow only people with aims and investments programs they should be doing in South Sudan.

Take, for example, Rwanda is a member of East African Community but for it to control crimes within the country is to control the borders. A foreigner who wants to enter the county must state clearly the reason to why he/she wishes to enter, but not anybody who wishes to enter the country would be allowed as if we are providing asylum the refugees. Why don’t you think about future repercussions?

The population of Juba realized a lot of criminal activities including ID and money forgery, killing of boda-boda men at night are happening without government intervention. Desperate criminals find it an easy way of getting motorbikes in case they lack money to buy one.

It is obvious that no country would keep quiet when her citizens died in whichever way. That was why Kenya term Republic of South Sudan as a “no-go country” basing their argument on 24 people who died in South Sudan since. Some died in the prisons and some were killed by diseases or natural death. Did Kenya government not claim that her citizens are being killed in South Sudan?

Anyway, let’s wait with great trepidation to the future of this nation.

Writer is Agriculture Economics graduate by name: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, now in Juba and reachable at: chieryako@yahoo.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author(s) and don’t represent those of the website),

Federalism is the only viable solution to South Sudan’s problems.

BY: Elhag Paul, RSS, SEP. 27/2012; Federalism, the democratic system of governance that is hated like a disease in South Sudan by some powerful members of the ruling party has come up like a rose flower blossoming in early spring sunshine. Indeed it is a lovely flower with sweet fragrance to most South Sudanese democrats. This fresh smell has been sprayed into the acrid atmosphere of South Sudan by non other than the person who challenged SPLM dictatorship in 1991 derailing the SPLM’s project of New Sudan and changing the course of history.

Dr Lam Akol’s call in the Sudan Tribune on 20th September 2012 “for a federal state in South Sudan to achieve ‘Unity in diversity’ and to promote peaceful coexistence between the different tribal components of the country,” is not only timely but a wise call proving the initiative to be a thoughtful act of a citizen who wants the best for the country. Any person coming up with solutions to address our failed state should be taken very seriously.

Dr Akol has been the subject of vilification for nearly 2 decades by the SPLM party even when he was their registered member. The leaders of the SPLM hate him for his supposed intelligence. The public should not receive Dr Akol’s call for federalism with suspicion for the simple fact that ultimately, if South Sudan is to be rescued it has to be governed by a federal system. The current centralized system of governance in South Sudan is a recipe for disaster and it is one of the reasons why South Sudan is a failed state today.

A country with a diverse population of over sixty tribes can not just be subjected to the whims of only 18 percent of its citizens who perversely call themselves a majority. How can 18 percent of the population be a majority over 82 percent? This is one of the twisted logic that is invoked time and again to perpetuate abuse by a minority bent on domination and siphoning the resources of the country without any accountability.

To do away with this abuse and corruption, it is necessary that the system of governance in the country is changed to a federal one as called for by Dr Akol.

Federal system will bring government closer to the people and it will allow proper scrutiny of government since local federal government agents will be judged by local people who elect them and not appointees as is the case now.

Additionally, federalism will do away with the current uneven distribution of resources and power between the various social groups in the country. The importance of this point is that as people participate in their government within their own localities (federal states) cooperation between the various localities will begin to build up leading into a healthy relationship and peaceful co-existence. This is what we want in our country and not domination by one group that generates constant instability.

Federalism is not new to South Sudanese. In 1950s prior to the independence of the Sudan in 1956, South Sudanese fearing domination by the Arabs, called for a federal system. Had the government in Khartoum heeded the call then perhaps Sudan today would still have been one country at peace with itself. But the Arabs refused it because they wanted to dominate and as a result they played a game with it until the South Sudanese got fed up and moved on to separation which now has happened.

Many tribes in South Sudan feel hard done by the dominant tribe in the SPLM. This is not new. There is a pertinent history which is threatening to repeat itself. The experience of Kokora was painful but the current system is even generating more pain than that of Kokora and it is only a matter of time before things begin to boil over.

In the bush, SPLM tried to minimize this kind of pain by accepting that federalism should be the system of governance in South Sudan. Thus, it sought to placate itself by holding a convention in 1994. In that convention it was unequivocally resolved that federal system would be the system of governance in the Sudan. This was in recognition of the diversity of the South Sudan.

When the CPA was born in 2005 the constitution governing South Sudan stipulated federalism as the system of governance in South Sudan. The SPLM was comfortable with this arrangement because it still had no absolute power and also fearing division in the South. So far so good.

After the referendum and secession of South Sudan the SPLM having obtained ultimate power they threw away federalism from the constitution in favor of a centralized government. As expected this was done to allow certain groups and ethnicities to dominate the government. The outcome of this arrangement is the total mess South Sudan is in now.

Rampant corruption, massive theft, tribal appointments of incompetent people, tribal police force, tribal prison forces, tribal judiciary, tribal wars, and rebellions capped with a failed state. Hence the certification of South Sudan by international bodies as a failed state and the measured description of South Sudan government by one of its former advisors, Gerard Prunier, as a government of “idiots …..rotten to the core.”

Now a centralised system of government that produces such destruction and rubbish surely can not be good for the country and it needs to be discarded in the interest of peace and unity. Here is where Dr Akol’s call comes in timely. We either have a ‘unity in diversity’ or we will self destruct and there is no knowing what the outcome of that will be.

It will not surprise me if the demonization of Dr Akol is upped now by the footmen of SPLM simply because he has touched a sensitive button albeit a life saving one for all of us. In light of this it is vital to briefly examine Dr Akol’s performance in SPLM objectively. Before doing this I would like to state categorically that I am not a member of SPLM-DC. My interest in this is only to be fair to him as his proposal transcends party and ideological bigotry.

Prior to 1991, Dr Akol was a rising star in the SPLM. As the face of external relations of the movement he ably represented the movement to the extent that he gave credibility to SPLM’s claimed stake as an alternative government to the rulers in Khartoum. His performance in talks with the Sudan government in Norway in late 1980s shone throughout the world raising the status of SPLM internationally. The press briefs he gave were measured and effective.

Unlike the current GoSS diplomats in Nairobi and Washington who embarrass us daily, Dr Akol carried himself in that portfolio with dignity lifting up the status of the movement. Even Dr Garang acknowledged his high quality performance.

However, the 1991 failed Nasir coup of which Dr Akol was a member changed all that. He became a target of demonization by the SPLM main stream and to a large extent this succeeded. The majority of South Sudanese pumped up with sustained negative propaganda by the SPLM over the years do not see Dr Akol from untainted glass. This is unfortunate because many people have been frightened, brainwashed and deprived of the chance to interact with his writings and his person without being biased.

Objective engagement with Dr Akol’s materials is illuminating and I have no doubt that history will have him as the person who changed the course of South Sudan history in the SPLM.

Although Reik Machar was the leader of that coup, it is known that without Dr Akol he would not have taken the bold step of rebelling against Dr Garang. And without 1991 Nasir coup, it would have been unthinkable for the wishes of South Sudanese for secession to come to light during that dark oppressive period of one-man rule (Dr John Garang). It is this coup with pressure from South Sudanese internally and externally that forced Dr Garang to sign up to the agenda of secession through referendum in Abuja in early 1990s and from there everything else was history.

This is a momentous contribution to the history of South Sudan that nobody can take that away from Dr Akol. This contribution no doubt threatens the position of those who want to construct Dr Garang as the ‘Father of the Nation.’ A widely misused and abused phrase in south Sudan without any credible grounds. Yes, Dr Garang fought Khartoum hard and nobody can take that away from him.

However it is important to note that he fought for a united Sudan. Dr Garang himself put pen to paper saying ‘our first bullets were fired against the separatists.’

Now how could a person who was a unionist to the core who executed separatists at will be the father of a nation he did not want to see born? People like Isaiah Abraham who tirelessly pursue the goal of glorifying Dr Garang through mendacity will later find out that their effort is gone to waste like dust or vapour.

Dr Akol as any other human being has his weaknesses. Writers like Dr Nyaba in his writings refer to him as arrogant. This maybe true but surely this is not a reason enough to banish someone.

If Dr Reik Machar, despite his destructive past and promotion of corruption in GoSS now can be reinstated in South Sudanese society, why not Dr Akol? If the former ministers of finance Arthur Akuen and Athian Mawen who mismanaged billions in the system can be reinstated and appointed into parliament why not Dr Akol? If former NCP diehards who fought the SPLM tooth and nail for two decades can be reinstated, why not Dr Akol?

There are many cases of people who have done terrible things in South Sudan and yet they have been reinstated in society and lavishly praised. But when it comes to Dr Akol, the siren is sounded as if the world is coming to an end. Let us be fair and treat people equally if we want to build a good society.

Those whose minds have been contaminated by SPLM propaganda need to rescue themselves by being objective. Individually the decision is ours whether we want to remain with the wool pulled over our eyes by SPLM or become free beings in thoughts and deeds.

Frantz Fanon (1924 -1961) argues that manipulation of the mind is not only destructive to the individual but is the very destruction of the community itself simply because the behavior of a manipulated person ensures his own demise and that of his community. When someone be they your friend or your enemy manipulates and colonizes your mind, they have full control of you and will exploit you as they like.

No offense intended but the SPLM has via crude methods managed to colonize minds of its members as well as a large section of our society. In a sense SPLM has locked into the minds of their supporters the idea that anybody opposing them is pro-Arab and therefore should not be tolerated (although the Arabs are long gone) even when the person has good ideas for the country. What SPLM does not say is that they too are in daily contact with Arabs.

Having come this far, what is needed clearly is free thinking people in the SPLM who can question things and argue objectively in favor of good ideas.

For example, on this proposal of federalism objective SPLM members should be able to say although Dr Akol raised the issue it is good for South Sudan and they should be able to support it. After all this would not be the first time that SPLM adopts Dr Akol’s proposals. In Abuja they accepted self-determination of South Sudan.

Thus on the issue of federalism, let objectivity for once reign. Let us concentrate on the message and not the messenger. If what is being proposed can offer a solution to our failed state and can stop the world calling us ‘idiots ….. rotten to the core,’ then what is wrong with that? After all Dr Akol is resurrecting something that once was in our constitution before SPLM vandalized it in July 2011 (Independence day).

Federalism is the only viable solution to our problems. It offers solutions to the problem of domination. It offers solutions to the problem of poor governance. It offers peaceful co-existence. It offers solutions to the politics of exclusions. It offers solutions to political instability. It offers solutions to totalitarianism and so on. Moreover this is a system that has been tested in the advanced countries: United States of America, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, and Australia.

For those who say federalism is not good for South Sudan the burden of proof remains with them. They need to tell us why it is not good by arguing and making a credible case for such a position. They need to bear in mind that centralized power as now in Juba dominated by one group has failed and caused the current instability. If left unaddressed it may lead into disintegration of the country.

In summing up, now that Dr Akol’s call for federalism in South Sudan has coincided with the review of the constitution, the members of the constitutional review and the members of the parliament should pay a particular attention to this.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul, RSS, elhagpaul@aol.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author(s) solely and not of the website)

Lack of Legal Representation Jeopardizes Right of Fair Trial in South Sudan

BY: Beny Gideon Mabor, JUBA;
Introduction: The Republic of South Sudan is a country amongst other family of nations with imposition of capital punishment such as death sentence. Article 21 (1) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan says ‘no death penalty shall be imposed, save as punishment for extremely serious offences in accordance with the law’. The enabling law is Penal Code 2008 where death penalty for instance amongst other death related offences is permitted under section 206 of the same Act.

To the contrary, the same Constitution under the Bill of Rights Article 11 says ‘every person has inherent right to life, dignity and integrity of his or her person which shall be protected by law; no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her right to life’.

Worriedly, the legitimate question to the rule of law institutions and private legal consultants is: which provisions of the law is supreme between that of the Transitional Constitution and the Penal Code 2008, with respect of right to life and imposition of death penalty as stipulated under Article 11 and section 206 of the former and the later?

And further what is resolution in respect of current powers, save under Article 11 and 21 (1) of the same Constitution? Although this is not the primary intention and a forum to challenge the death penalty, yet I must highlight something about such legal implications for the government and the human rights campaigners.

However, the underlying idea about my argument is the lack of legal aid services in both criminal and civil disputes across South Sudan. The increasingly victims of this legal vacuum are indigent accused persons, be the criminal offenders or civil wrongdoers or both parties.

For instance, according to a research data released by UNMISS Human Rights department and my colleague David K. Deng, a senior researcher on human rights with South Sudan Law Society, therefore found that there are 109 people on the death row with four women and only six people have undergone legal representation. The rest were tried without right to a fair trial in a manner prescribed by law.

This is very sad news for a country promised to have been founded on the basis of justice, equality, respect for human dignity and advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In fact, Article 19 (7) of the Constitution says ‘any accused person has the right to defend himself or herself in person or through a lawyer of his or her own choice or to have legal aid assigned to him or her by the government where he or she cannot afford a lawyer to defend him or her in any serious offence’.

Additionally, the said legal aid service has been provided in the National Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act 2008 under section 10 (d) and (g) which says proving legal aid for person in need and educating citizens on their constitutional rights through workshop, seminars and media.

With this situation, one may really wonder why do the government designed good laws but without implementation? It is very challenging in our progress justice system and requires urgent attention from all actors.

Challenges Facing Legal Representation.
After having evaluated the literature review of the both criminal and civil justice trial system through considerable research, I found out numerous challenges facing provision of legal aid to the parties whether such person is capable of hiring a lawyer or an indigent accused person. The very low or even complete lack of awareness of legal aid and access to justice for all remains in a limbo for reasons best known to the rule of law institutions.

Second, there is inadequacy or dysfunctional legal aid strategy in South Sudan despite the explicit provisions of the applicable laws. The appalling situations of suspects awaiting trials in serious offences seemingly remain unmet. However, the legal aid initiative in the national Ministry of Justice is still limited in scope and application. Nobody is aware and when exactly to translate this constitutional obligation into reality to the poor people who are in dire need of legal services.

Third, with the lack of legal aid system in the Republic of South Sudan, causes unnecessary and lengthy detention of people including that of juveniles, women and people of unsound mind without quick and due process of law. How will such watertight legal principle be achieved?

It is of the majority opinion that a strong legal system can be achieved only through constitutional governance where doctrine of separation of powers and subsidiary rules of procedure are respected.

Fourth, as a result of non-observance of the due process of law, the police and public prosecution attorneys usually conduct pre-trial proceedings of the accused persons without legal representation right from earlier stages of interrogation. This is unconstitutional act that often discredits the facts of the case and the prosecution will present what I called a contaminated evidence to court for determination.

Strategic Recommendations
After exhaustively exploring the importance of legal aid services and notifying the hindrance factors, the author in consultation with relevant stakeholders found out and recommends the following strategic suggestions:

First, there should be established a legal aid centre with full and part-time salaried legal practitioners and legal counsels tasked with functions to providing pro bono legal services to the most economically and socially disadvantaged accused persons in the society.

Second, the right of a fair trial will only be achieved in South Sudan when the rule of life must originate from the rule of law. It will also be achieved when all law enforcement agencies like police investigators, prosecutors, prison warders and the court comply with strict demand of legal aid and access to justice for all including that the court must not entertain any case whose party has no legal representation.

Third, the applicable laws are silent about death commuted to life imprisonment. Legally speaking, when a convict is sentence to death and a judicial order is taken to the President for confirmation in accordance with the provisions of Article 101(h) of the Constitution, the President is required by law to have time limit for death confirmation, grant pardon etc… and if the President exceeds the said period without confirmation of the same, then the death penalty is deemed to have been commuted to life imprisonment.

Therefore, I am of the opinion that the Penal Code 2008 be urgently amended and incorporates this provision in accordance with a uniform rule of legislation.

Beny Gideon Mabor is an independent commentator on governance and human rights. He can be reached at: benygmabor@gmail.com

Mabior nauseated by Kiir’s one-legged government

BY: Tearz Ayuen, JUBA, SEPT. 19/2012;
I am both sad and remorseful that I have to write this piece in response to what some South Sudanese are thinking, saying and writing about the son of Late Dr. John Garang. I am sad because I hate to meddle in issues that are somehow tribal, clan-based, sectional or regional. I am also sad because South Sudanese, both illiterate and literate, men and women or young and old, do not look at the message, but concentrate on the origin of the messenger, of which they base their responses on.

In addition, I am sad not because I am going to take sides on this particular issue but because I really didn’t want to register my name on the list of issues thousands, if not millions, regard as us-against-them.

However, here is a point to keep in mind: I do not know Mabior Garang in person. I don’t know anything about his private life. I am not friends with him. We are not relatives either. And I don’t even intend to create any sort of relationship or friendship with him. In short, I am neither seeking favors from, nor friendship with either Mabior or any member of his immediate, extended or clannish family.

More importantly, I never wished any of Garang’s children get involved in political affairs of South Sudan. I even made fun of them the other day on the social media—Facebook that: If I were Mama Rebecca Nyandeng or John Garang’s son, I’d stay out of politics forever. I would constantly run away from anything political. In fact, I’d buy myself some new pair of Nike athletic shoes and shorts, and always keep them close to me just in case I see politics coming, I’d tighten the laces and outrun the thing.

I have a million reasons as to why but I prefer keeping them to myself.

Anyway, here is the point. Following the publication of the Alan-Mabior interview in which Mabior pointed out a lot of the criticizable weaknesses in President Kiir-led ‘thumb-less’ government, South Sudanese (should I say) of all walks of life digested the message in different ways, depending on ‘educational upbringing,’ birthplace, level of civilized-ness and state of mind.

Many people welcomed the message and cheered him on. Others got angered by the words and began to speak ill of Mabior. They even went extra miles to invade his privacy; that, ooh, Mabior is an alcoholic, ooh, he is irresponsible; all in an attempt to hurt him, and eventually discouraging him from speaking his mind on national matters.

Simon Peter, some citizen who, according to his writing, got annoyed by Mabior’s move wrote on South Sudan Nation.com website: “….they’ve broken your jaws, next time they’ll break your neck! But what you don’t know comrade is that what’s posted isn’t expected from you… Who cares to listen to a drunkard who masters only drinking?”

OMG! What a beautiful way of silencing dissidence!

Simon Peter contradicts himself here. He wonders who cares about the drunkard, forgetting that he himself is the answer to his question. He forgets that he cares much more than anyone else and that’s why Mabior’s utterances made his blood clot. Simon Peter and his crew have also forgotten that no one is perfect. Each and every public figure or, say, a government official, has a ‘smelly’ background, either past or present. But still, they hold public positions. What counts is how he or she delivers, performs, etc.

For example, some of our current leaders indulge themselves in uncouth practices unexpected of them, including having love affairs with young girls. Others are good at habitual drunkenness, stealing, ineptitude, arrogance etc.

And most of our leaders have failed to bring up their children the way they should have. They have no control over them. Some of these children rarely attend classes. They are wild and untameable. They spend a lot of time running around, ‘showing off’ in East African cities and beyond. They go clubbing 24/7, fighting, causing havoc in clubs and almost everywhere they go.

Others even confront traffic police officers for being pulled over yet they are children of ‘big men’ in South Sudan. “You silly cop, are you new in this city or what? Didn’t you see the number plate, CES, uh?” One scolded an officer the other day. Now if the father of such a young man can’t control him, is he fit to govern 8 million people, hold public post? Is he or she worth the leadership?

But we understand and separate their rotten sides from the good sides and continue to adore and respect them as our leaders—good ones. We pray for them every time they fall in. We always converge at Freedom Squares – during public functions, in the scotching sun, with empty stomachs and dry lips – to listen to what they have to say. We give them rounds of applause every time they speak; out of love, we clap our hands and shout out their names even when actually they have said nothing. You can call that unconditional admiration.

Another group even misinterpreted Mabior’s message and labeled him as an opposition against President Kiir. A South Sudanese writer, Ateny Wek, wrote: ”…the eldest son of our late great leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior announced his accidental move to oppose the government of his father’s successor General Salva Kiir Mayardit – a move seen by political experts to have landed a blow on the government of the world’ newest nation….”

Oh boy! Someone is trembling, sweating. I don’t remember any line in the interview that shows Mabior intends to vie for an elective government position. Nor does he say he eyes Kiir’s seat.

Majority of South Sudanese know that Kiir is a weak leader (courtesy of his softness), but Mabior does not and cannot appear in the list of those who could replace him anytime soon. Even if Mabior was to stand against Kiir in a million presidential elections, Kiir would still emerge the winner a million times. The reason being, Mabior lacks the zero point five-kilo leadership experience President Kiir has. So, why panicking?

Mabior-Kiir’s case is simple, and it even gets simpler when one removes the ethnic eyeglasses. Mabior clearly and frequently says that he grew up knowing Salva Kiir as his uncle and he still respects and treats him the same way. They are still a family. All in all, Mabior’s mother is part of the leaning democratic government. Whatever decision Kiir makes, be it good or bad, Mama Nyandeng goes home with her share. But these are national affairs.

Any citizen with a sound mind can say anything about the affairs without having to be an opposition figure so long as he or she presents the criticism correctly.

Look at it this way: when you’re a bad man, who mistreats and batters your wife every single night, and your teen son gets fed up with it and he gets up, with his fists tightened and as hard as steel, says it to your face that you must stop beating his mother lest he shows you his true colors; will you conclude that the son behaved that way because he wants to replace you? That he wants to snatch your wife who happens to be his mother? South Sudanese please!

There is a difference between Deng Athuai and Lam Akol. For Christ’s sake, who cannot notice such a difference with reading glasses off?!

On the other hand, this is 21st century. No more intimidation and harassment of watchdogs. No more killing of truth-sayers. Any leader who cannot deliver and cannot tolerate criticism is unfit for leadership. He or she must pack his belongings and catch a bus home to rear chickens, goats or cows, depending on what part of the country his village is located.

Just like any other young South Sudanese that gets nauseated by Kiir’s ‘one-legged’ government, Mabior is being an activist. He just pointed out why Salva Kiir ‘limps.’ It should not be magnified, misinterpreted, tribalized and used to divide South Sudanese, ‘Bor and Bahr el Ghazal Dinka’ in particular.

It should not be used to endear ourselves to those in power. Salva Kiir is a democratically-elected leader, remember. That means he is open to criticism, especially from those who voted him in. Attacking, in whatever form, those who criticize him is undemocratic and Neanderthal.

Besides, not only is publicizing someone’s privacy – just like what Ateny Wek and Simon Peter did – unprofessional but it is also a deliberate abuse of ‘pen.’ My learned friend, Ngor Deng has lexicalized a word that I believe can describe such a practice. He calls it ‘illiterate literacy.’

Mister Ateny even went on to warn South Sudanese against expecting anything from Mabior: “…he is not even 1000 miles near his father in term of political and academic talent. So, unlike Jesus in the gospel, South Sudanese must not see Mabior as second John Garang in waiting.”

Political and academic talent? Oh really? Since when did highly sophisticated scholastic acquisition begin to matter in South Sudan’s political setting? Among all the government officials, including H.E President of the Republic of South Sudan, Lieutenant General Salva Kiir Mayardit, who is the refined scholar? Who is the professional politician?

The ‘war’ against Mabior shows nothing but fear— deep hidden fear. It indicates that whoever is in the presidency or close to the presidency feels politically insecure because he lacks leadership qualities. He is a weakling. He is vulnerable to downfall, both democratically and militarily. His foundation is so flimsy such that a slight gentle push could send him crumbling.

If the presidency wasn’t so weak, Mabior’s words wouldn’t have caused panic. If Mabior was a drunkard, a good-for-nothing citizen, why speak your lungs out, trying to shoot him down then?

You just made a drunkard a hero. See? Shouldn’t I say one man’s weakness is another man’s strength?

Anti-Corruption Commission: Functions and Effectiveness of its role between the Constitution and the Criminal Procedure

BY: Mut Turuk, JUBA;
The purpose of this article is to answer some legal implications between Anti-Corruption Commission and the Ministry of Justice, and what I call the inconsistency of functions and powers between these two vital government’s institutions. The role of the Commission and the Ministry of Justice in combating corruption is supposed to be directed toward achieving the goals of the Commission.

However, as an observer, it seems that the Commission is in a cold war with the Ministry of Justice on prosecution powers, “who or which institution has a right to prosecute.” The Ministry of Justice through its Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) is exercising such powers in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Act, 2008, while the commission is watching taking only the role of awareness of the public through the media.

On some occasions, the Commission gives unjustified reasons that it had no prosecution powers. Such dilemma definitely will lead us to ask some questions that I believe the ordinary person or the people of South Sudan might ask whenever they hear their President talking of fighting and combating corruption, particularly, the recent statements that some officials were involved in embezzlement of public money worth $4 billion US Dollars.

If such statements are true and correct, what are the grounds of conflict between the Ministry of Justice and Anti-Corruption Commission and what are the pros and cons of such conflict? What is the inconsistency between the provisions of the constitution, the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, as well as the Criminal Procedure 2008, and how can such inconsistency be solved?

What is the role of the Judiciary in fighting corruption in the Country? Before we discuss such questions it has been noted that some officials from the Commission in regard to discharging their powers and functions in term of prosecution powers, always put a blame and point their fingers toward the Ministry of Justice to justify their failing to prosecute corruption cases.

Those who are interested in public issues might have heard such excuses from officials of the commission, saying that the Commission had no power to prosecute. Thus, it is like a person whose hands have been tied over and asked to fight his or her opponent and definitely, he or she would be defeated.

If that is the case, what is the need for the existence of anti-corruption commission when it is not able to prosecute?

An excuse that the Anti-corruption Commission has no prosecution powers has no grounds and it is unjustifiable and unreasonable at the same time. Because such an excuse would have been reasonable and acceptable under the Interim Constitution of 2005 under which the Commission was only given a mandate of investigation and send the final report to the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development by then which is now the Ministry of Justice.

Yet, the questions may be asked how many cases involving corruption have been successfully investigated by the Commission and how many of them have been also successfully prosecuted by the Ministry of Justice under the previous constitution and how many persons are now serving their sentences????

I believe they are big questions that need big answers…!!?

In accordance with Article 144 (b) of the current Transitional Constitution of 2011, it has been spelt out clearly that under article 144 (b), “….. Investigate and prosecute only cases of corruption”. If that is the case, what makes the Commission always complaining of having no prosecutorial powers?

Since the current Constitution was passed and assented to by the President, why the Commission did not file a petition before the Supreme Court requesting the court to declare exercising such prosecution powers by the Ministry of Justice as unconstitutional?

In regard to the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2009, some questions may come up. For instance, what is the definition of corrupt act, or in other words, what acts constitute corrupt offenses and what are those corrupt offenses under the Ant-Corruption Commission Act, 2009?

To answer these two questions one would need to read the Anti-Corruption Act of 2009 which is an act of parliament. Merely, in my opinion, it has nothing to do with fighting corruption and it seem that it was intended only for establishment of the Commission and not used as a tool for fighting corruption.

Hence, section 5 of the said Act is only giving a short interpretation of three definitions “advantage, corrupt practices and gratification” and it also refers to corruption sections under the Penal Code Act, 2008. Particularly, under chapter VIII or what the legislators termed as offenses by or relating to public servant.

This law which is meant to be used as a tool for fighting corruption in our Country is redundant. Yet, it was only designed and drafted for establishment of the Commission.

Therefore, I would like to strongly appeal to our government and particularly the parliament to enact a new and strong legislation that can be more effective to be used for fighting corruption. That is the way for us to learn from other countries’ experiences for fighting, eradication or minimizing of corruption; this appeal goes to the parliament.

Certainly, it clear that we don’t have effective law in place and therefore, our parliament must make sure that an effective law is enacted for fighting such disease called corruption. In that matter, it very vital that the parliament should be reminded that it is under obligation to protect the public monies by making effective laws that can be implemented by the Executive through the judiciary so that suspects are not escaping from justice.

With our current situation, the Anti-Corruption Commission has power to prosecute, pursuant to what I previously mentioned under Article 144 (b) of the Constitution. If any inconsistencies arise between provisions of any law in force and the Constitution, it the principle that the provisions of the Constitution prevail to the extent of such inconsistency.

Therefore, the commission has no excuse if it is willing to prosecute even if such prosecutions powers are mentioned under the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 2008. Merely, that for an act to be an offense a substantial law must define such act that constitute an offense and a procedural law will define proceedings under which the action would be taken until the final verdict is reached by the competent court.

Therefore, I believe it is not a practice to have a special law for procedure under which the corruption offenses should be conducted by the Commission. The Commission should seek ruling of unconstitutionality of some relating provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act that are inconsistent with the Constitution.

Otherwise, the Commission should exercise its prosecution powers without waiting for what they are demanding to be “a special corruption criminal procedure”. Thus, anti-corruption commission should start recruiting legal personnel and equip them with necessary prosecution skills to prosecute all corruption offenses throughout the Country.

It must seize the opportunity of what we may call a political will from the government and particularly Mr. President for his backing for combating corruption.

For expeditious trying of cases of corruption, the Judiciary must establish a Corruption Division Court as a specialized court for trying cases of corruption. This Division should be headed by a high court judge accompanied with number of judges who are specially trained on how to expedite the process of trying corruption offense with integrity that may allow them to apply the law without fear or favor, and with the principle of equality before the court of law regardless of suspect’s status whether of being a government official or their social status or other categories.

As the Commission is now struggling or preparing to table a bill before the parliament that might meet the public expectations to the international standards of drafting effective corruption law, one would like to have some contributions in that proposed bill in terms of technical aspect of drafting of the bill; such proposed contributions might assist us to produce the bill that may meet the minimum international standards of drafting such legislation.

For instance, it is supposed to start with leading provisions and that is what is known in drafting as long title beside short title of the bill. The long title should be to provide for the more effectual prevention of corruption, clear definition of acts that constitute corruption, what are the corrupt transactions with agents, corrupt a procuring withdrawal of tenders, bribery of member of public body, what is the penalty to be imposed in addition to any other punishment, how a principal may recover amount of secret gift, acceptor of gratification to be guilty notwithstanding that purpose not carried out, etc, presumption of corruption in certain cases for example when it approved that any gratification has been paid or given to or received by a person employed by a public body, by or from a person or agent of a person who has or seeks to have any dealing with public body.

In that regard, such gratification case should be deemed to have been paid or given and received corruptly and an inducement or reward unless the contrary is proved.

ADMISSION OF EVIDENCE IN TRIAL
In a stage of trial, the fact that an accused person is in possession for which he or she cannot satisfactorily account of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to his or her known sources of income, or that he or she had, at or about the time of the alleged offense should be considered by the court as evidence of pecuniary sources or property.

Evidence of accomplice, such evidence should not be regarded by the court as being unworthy of credit.

SPECIAL POWERS OF INVESTIGATION TO DPP
To have effectual fight special powers of investigation must be given to the Director of Public Prosecution as an exception in some cases where the Commission may not be able to have its own prosecutors or if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence under such proposed bill has been committed by any person.

The court also must have power to restrict disposal of assets or bank accounts of accused, etc,. Payment of compensation out of resources of convicted person must be provided. The proposed bill must also provide powers of orders of search and seizure to the commission, DPP or judge of 1st grade, as the case may be, particularly where the commission may not be able to provide its prosecutors.

DUTY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION
Giving information whenever requested whether by a police or special investigator must be provided by the bill as obligation and legally bound, penalty must be provided by the bill where any person makes an obstruction of search, etc, as well as powers to obtain information in the course of any investigation or proceedings into or relating to an offence by any person employed by any public body.

DEFENCE OF CUSTOM
The bill should consider evidence and defence of custom as inadmissible in regard to gratification given a customary, any profession, trade, vocation, or calling or in the course of any particular business transactions.

DUTY TO ARREST
The bill must provide duty to arrest any person employed by a public body to whom any gratification is corruptly given or offer to arrest the person who gives or offers the gratification to him or her and take over the person so arrested to the nearest police station. However, failing to do so without reasonable excuses the bill should provide that such person be held criminally responsible.

PROTECTION OF INFORMERS
Any successful fight to prevent corruption needs to have a good network of informer. Therefore, the bill must provide provisions for protection of informer as well as penalty for giving false information respectively.

DISQUALIFICATION AND PROTECTION OF PERSONS ACTING PURSUANT TO THE BILL
To give an additional for long term punishment even when a convicted person is released after servicing his or her sentence in prison, such person should be disqualified to hold any office for period not less than ten years in or under a public office as well as providing a strong protection of persons acting in pursuant of such proposed bill should provide for provisions for invalidity of appointment as bar for prosecution.

In other words, if somebody is appointed wrongly in a public body he or she should be barred from being prosecuted if he or she commits an offence under such proposed bill. The bill also should provide very clear provisions to spell out prosecution powers of offences and it would be very much better that such prosecution powers be given to both Commission and Director of Public Prosecutor in regard to where it may be appropriate to such two institutions.

The bill also should provide powers to the Chairperson of the Commission powers to appoint special investigators whenever desirable for the purpose of any investigation if such investigator possesses any necessary special skill or experience to be a special investigator.

To avoid any doubt or ambiguity in term of exercising powers under such bill, the bill should provide provisions the prosecutions powers should be vested upon the chairperson of the Commission and his or her power, duty, or function conferred or imposed by such bill should be executed by his or her deputy.

JURISDICTION
As the bill is dealing with special and serious offence that are affecting the public, the bill should spell out that the jurisdiction to try offences under such proposed bill to be exercised by High Court or County Court of 1st grade judge.

Finally, the short title or citation of the proposed bill is supposed to be “The Prevention of Corruption Bill, 2012.”

*Mut Turuk is an advocate based in Juba and he can be reached through mutturuk77@yahoo.com


Forwarded to site by Mr. Beny Gideon Mabor,
Tel:+211955812788/+211928879891

South Sudanese WAKE UP and SPEAK OUT!

BY: Amanda Leitwa, SOUTH SUDAN

AUG. 23/2012, SSN; I am Sick of the South Sudanese mentality that currently condones the diabolical state of affairs in South Sudan. Statements such as ‘we are starting from scratch’ channel this dangerous and complicit idea through the South Sudanese psyche. What the South Sudanese spokespeople of this cryptic ‘We are starting from scratch’ message do not understand is the underlying damage this statement alone has caused to my generation, namely the under thirties.

It is breeding an acceptance of corruption, disorganization and materialism. It doesn’t take much to notice this developing trend among the young South Sudanese. Ask any under thirty who has a parent in the South Sudanese governmental system and you will discover their excessive support for the system or at best silence on the matter of governance in South Sudan.

I remember having a conversation with a South Sudanese man in his early-twenties about South Sudan. I expressed to him my extreme disappointment with the pathetic state of the South Sudanese economy, especially because South Sudan‘s economic potential is far from being exhausted. He replied me by saying that he thought the Government of South Sudan/SPLA (GOSS) was doing very well, he urged me to consider the fact that they are ‘starting from scratch’.

I have two main issues with this opinion expressed by too many South Sudanese, young and old. My first problem is, what then is to be said of the 1970s South Sudanese administration under Nimeiri’s May 25th revolution regime (Nimeiri regime), set up in accordance with the Addis Ababa agreement?

The second problem I have with the starting from scratch mentality is that, with the several years that South Sudanese have spent in the Diaspora and as a result the plethora of undergraduate and post-graduate degree holders we now have, why do we pretend to lack the brain power to generate adequate government?

Firstly, let us examine the extent of the administrative autonomy held by the Southern Regional Executive council under the Nimeiri regime. The Addis Ababa agreement stipulated in  Chapter four article eleven (Chp 4, art 11) that the High executive council for the then Southern region of Sudan was to have legislative capacity over a number of issues, for example “Promotion and utilization of Regional financial resources for the development and administration of the Southern Region.” This effectively meant that South Sudan could explore, develop and administer policies and schemes that would generate regional revenue for regional development.

What many of my fellow under thirties need to understand is that if our leaders in the seventies were as feckless as our current leaders, the resource that contributes to 98% of South Sudan’s current GDP namely oil, may never have been discovered.

Oil exploration had been taking place in what was then Northern Sudan since 1959 to no avail. The Nimeiri regime continued oil exploration in Northern Sudan with no intention or obligation to extend the oil exploration to what was then Southern Sudan.

In the late seventies the leader of the High executive council for Southern Sudan at the time approached and facilitated the exploration of oil by Chevron and as a result oil was discovered in Western Upper Nile (see:http://www.sudanupdate.org/REPORTS/Oil/08cn.html).

This is evidence not only of initiative but also an expression of interest in the development of the infrastructure of South Sudan. If this was the sort of activity South Sudanese leaders were taking part of in the seventies, surely South Sudan was not starting from scratch under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.

In fact what is clear from the example given above is that, the sort of initiative and interest expressed by South Sudanese leaders in the past clearly lack in GOSS today. If that were not so why does South Sudan’s economy lack diversity?

After the six year interim period I cannot understand why South Sudan’s agricultural potential was not actualized.

If GOSS had taken its responsibility to the people of South Sudan seriously by appointing competent officials at the beginning of the interim period to manage the oil, GOSS would have been prepared for the Oil stoppage stunt they pulled at the beginning of this year.

They would have had hard evidence of the alleged unlawful diversion of oil carried out by the Sudanese government which would have strengthened their bargaining power in the recent talks held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Therefore GOSS would have averted the severity of inflation currently in South Sudan as a result of the now diminished GDP.

However, instead of planning and thinking ahead, our leaders were busy stealing the oil revenue to feed their newly cultivated expensive tastes, wining and dining their international friends.

In all of this governmental debauchery what hurts any sane human being is the deprivation our brothers and sisters living in South Sudan are facing, with the cost of living in Juba ridiculously high and the quality of life shockingly poor.

Are our leaders thinking of anyone else but themselves? And what of we in the Diaspora watered, fed and educated?  In fact, is any South Sudanese person thinking of anyone else but themselves?

This leads me to my second issue with the statement ‘We are starting from scratch’. A recent graduate myself, with many South Sudanese graduates before me and the several educated who belong to my parent’s generation, is it plausible for anyone to believe that South Sudan lacks the capacity to govern itself effectively?

In fact it seems to be a strategic ploy by our incompetent leaders that the cream of South Sudan does not rise to the top, because if they did our government would look lean and nothing like it does today. The restriction of brain power in South Sudan is perhaps the one thing GOSS has strategically carried out effectively.

I find it sad that GOSS is successful at tasks that are counterproductive to the development of South Sudan.

I am honestly sickened to my core at the apathy my peers and in fact many of my parents’ peers have toward changing the state of affairs in South Sudan, we have developed a culture rife with immorality that is killing our people in their droves.

If we, all South Sudanese do not begin to speak out and effect change in South Sudan we may very soon find that we have no country at all.

Amanda Letiwa; Augustboudica@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

David (Boswell) versus Dr. Goliath (Benjamin): A valuable Lesson

By Fanwell L. Edward, GHANA

AUG. 23/2012, SSN; I have believed all along that it was only a matter of time before the Read more →

South Sudanese: Things are looking up

BY: Isaiah Abraham, JUBA

AUG. 10/2012, SSN; I have slowly developed fears that our beloved country will ‘die’ if we don’t stop the inferiority, clannish and parochial politics among our society. We have talents, highly educated personalities and strong people, but we lack achievers, and self-motivated leaders. His Excellency the Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny shoes is what am driving you at. You may agree or not, but the man is the right man in our situation. Garang then was one, may his soul rest in eternal peace! Read more →

Pres. Kiir apologizes to Pres. Obama for LYING: When will he apologize to people of South for the many other lies?

What a national embarrassment when the president admits to habitual lying even to important world leaders who are great supporters of his regime that is admittedly corruption-ridden and a human rights abuser of its own citizens. Perhaps it’s time for Kiir to apologize to the people of the South Sudan Nation?