By: Ibrahim Juma, South Sudan, MAR/28/2018, SSN;
It is an indisputable fact that the current crisis we are in, came from power hungry politicians who’d and still put their interests first rather than the national interest. Concerned citizens like me are left to wonder in relation to how and who will address the followings issues that have befallen our nation.
Political problems: Because of power hunger and lack of patience from Dr. Riek Machar, he triggered the 2013 crisis that lasted up to now.
Many people including me thought Dr. Riek would be the only hope for our nation given his education and experience, but through thorough observations, he isn’t fit to resolve South Sudanese problems.
He has failed to run the SPLM-IO properly, leave alone running the whole nation. He is currently running a rebellion whose objective is just to get power without telling the citizens what he’d do once he assumes power.
Several defects within SPM-IO are testimony to that effect.
Other rebels like Dr. Lam Akol and General Thomas Cirilo are also vision-less. This leaves us with no hope in these rebels as they’d be hopeless in resolving of Republic of South Sudan’s problems.
On the other hand, the government of President Kiir is a government of self-enrichment or self-service. Where on earth can someone who was accused of stealing money be appointed as Undersecretary?
What has his government done to the 75 top corrupt politicians? Or since inception, who has ever been prosecuted by the Anti–Corruption commission other than it being an institution for employment?
Furthermore, the government has gone ahead to adopt a system of provoking people to rebel, e.g. when Gen. Paul Malong was relieved and decided to go home, he was labelled as a rebel and soldiers were told to shoot him if he resisted arrest.
If it wasn’t because of former governor of Eastern lakes, Mr. Bor Philip, Gen. Paul Malong would’ve been harmed.
Recently, when Mr. Andrew Makur Thou fell ill, his son-in-law, Ambassador Telar Ring Deng went to take care of him in Khartoum, Mr. Ezekiel Lul (current minister of petroleum) quickly referred to Mr. Telar as “John Baptist” who went to Khartoum to prepare the ground for the arrival of Gen. Paul Malong.
Who told Mr. Ezekiel Lul that Telar has rebelled? Is it not provocation where those in power provoke others to rebel?
If Gen. Paul rebelled (God forbids), I won’t blame him but I’ll rather blame those who always labeled him as rebel.
So, the question is, what’ll the government get from series of rebellions? I’m forced to believe that they’re using war to continue looting the country’s resources under the pretext of war.
Similar to my final observation on rebels that relate to their incapability in resolving South Sudanese’s problems mentioned above, the current government is a nightmare to South Sudanese.
Thus nothing good will come from it except continuous corruption in all its institutions, nepotism, promotion of tribalism, consistent under-development as evidenced by lack of functioning road network countrywide that links Capital Juba to all the states.
Further, poor health system, lack of sound educational sector, more and more suffering of the poor as a result of the current economic hardships, and government actions that are making our nation a laughing stock in the eyes of international community among many others.
All the above are a result of lack of political will to put things right given that self-interest prevails on top of national interest.
Economic Issues : since there is inter-dependency between politics and how economy can be ran, one can’t deny that there is no way South Sudan’s economy can do well when those who are supposed to run things right are not doing their jobs right.
For instance, President Kiir appointed Othom Rago to be the bank governor in order to put the South Sudanese Economy right, but what he has forgotten is something relating to this saying, “when a cow chews its cud, baby cow calf is watching keenly.”
Mr. Othom can’t do anything right when he has been part of the team that allowed millions of Dollars to be taken away by politicians in Central Bank.
Central Bank, more specifically, has failed to perform its duties such as establishing sound banking system where commercial banks lends to general public, controls inflation and gives prudent advice to government in relation to any policy action…. etc.
Central Bank is supposed to work with Ministry of Finance and that of Petroleum in putting the nation right.
But in a country where there’s open corruption in those institutions, nothing good can happen.
You’re all aware of the famous 10% scenario in the ministry of Finance which I believe is still in existence up to date.
Corruption in the ministry of Petroleum has been exposed too by the latest Sentry report published in this month.
The Central bank has a joined the corrupt politicians and companies that hold huge checks issued by Ministry of Finance and Economic planning by facilitating their payment rather than having keen eyes to detect any fraud.
So there is no hope in those institutions unless very serious reforms are made.
Our economy is now characterized by high unemployment, high inflation rates, high capital outflows e.g. our country send lots of money to neighboring countries to pay for education, health, rental charges, purchase of houses, vehicles, banking of looted money overseas, dependency on imports rather than developing “import substitution strategy that later leads to “export of surplus output.”
Depreciation of South Sudanese pounds against foreign currencies notably USD, Euro among other currencies, lack of government parastatals that in return generate government revenue and create employment, diversion of funds by politicians who have opportunity to steal public resources.
Because we have self-enriching politicians, nothing good can be achieved economically since these current politicians define the operations of the above institutions.
Social problems: our social fabric is now characterized by high bride price which is preventing many youth from marrying, high prostitution resulting from this economic hardships where for the first time a South Sudanese lady can be found selling herself for money.
Adulterous acts – where married ladies are unfaithful to their husbands simply because she might get paid by her spare tire to augment what her husband gives her daily.
Flourishing of crime rates in Juba and various areas simply because youth cannot meet the high cost of living.
Cattle rustling among communities with intention of getting what one can use as bride price, cultural erosion exemplified by emergency of South Sudanese pornographic films. (See hot in Juba website)
This emanated from the lengthy war where children born in refugees camps don’t have south Sudanese values at heart, unemployment where many youth spend whole day playing cards, sitting at tea places simply because they have no papers to compete for the few jobs in NGOs sector.
Others are unemployed simply because they are Arabic literate which is contrary to English as official language in South Sudan.
More importantly because the number of jobs available are not equal to job seekers and depopulation of South Sudan due to current war and revenge killings.
Because of these social problems, there is increase in number of fake churches that promise success, that means our spiritual being is at stake.
In summary, after reading to the end, my question to you is, who will address all the above problems and restore our nation to pre-war period (2008-2011), since the savior is not yet known to us citizens as shown by the above observations?
The writer is South Sudanese Economist.