Eight Years of Kiir’s Presidency: SPLM has Lost its Vision

BY: Gabrial Pager Ajang, Nebraska, USA, NOV/10/2013, SSN;

Eight years of Kiir’s Presidency, people of South Sudan went through tribal conflicts and scandalous corruptions. His leadership is clouded and has culminated in an unending cycle of tribal fighting, corruption and bad governances.

In eight years, citizens of various counties are stranded in awful situation, hundreds died of diseases and starvation. Because of remoteness of areas that had no roads, it made it problematic for the few charitable organizations that wish to deliver medical and food supplies during rainy season.

The Sick are carried by loved ones on their shoulders to distant unequipped clinics. Citizens engulfed in these dreadful situations have long yawned for better roads and infrastructures.

Nevertheless, the comprehensive Peace Agreement kept hope and optimism alive among South Sudanese. However, these hopes and optimisms were killed by Juba when it signed Cooperation Agreement with Khartoum’s government.

This new accord was neither strategic policy nor was it beneficial to Juba, but it was rather an appeasement of Sudan government or a deal made at the expense of South Sudanese citizens. It emasculates the CPA, undermines demarcation of the border. Even though, permitting movement of citizens between the South and North is good idea, it is politically bad for South Sudan.

The Cooperation Agreement depoliticized the legitimacy of South Sudan as a sovereign nation, and somehow paves way for unification of the two Sudans at least in the eyes of international community. It is an agreement that should have never been signed.

The precarious and horrendous situation of South Sudan is deteriorating, and Juba leadership is the sole entity to blame. They failed to prioritize counties programs, instead they gratified their greed.

Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) fails to stick to its vision. Kiir’s administration has chosen flawed policy, after flawed fallacy policies that are easily susceptible to be exploited by Khartoum and cause the High Implementation Panel to relax and lay back.

We sacrified our sons and daughters for freedom, good governance, peace and viable democracy but little did we know that we have sacrificed them for a gloomy future. Even, after independence the price we continue to pay is high, and indeed too high to continue paying such a price in blood and treasures.

Although it is not easy now for President Salva Kiir to engineer economic and agricultural revolution in South Sudan, it could have been easy had the government made good policy choices. The best policy could have been connecting counties by roads, and provision of maximum security in corners of South Sudan.

In contrast, I live in the United States, a country where President can protect me at all cost. Let alone people dying in hundreds, he can move bliss to protect one person. Therefore, the government that fails to safeguard a single person cannot protect its citizens and its sovereignty.

The SPLM as political party under Kiir leadership had lost its vision. We now know that Juba lacks leadership’s skills and expertise to implement the existing three of six protocols that have not been executed. The party we all anointed and praised for delivering us from the bondages of injustice, from oppression and brutal totalitarian regimes of Khartoum had lost its tasked mission.

Juba’s leadership is wallowing in desperation and despair. Kiir resorts to clinging to power. He adeptly thinks that clinging to power by all means could preserve his leadership. However, he must be told that he had no power; good power is one that is derived from citizens.

He looks unreasonable to citizens, and this could mean, he losing legitimacy at the eyes of citizens and international community, when he continues to claim powers that do not belong to him, for example power to appoint and fire governors.

In these eight years of Kiir’s Presidency, the Global Observatory, a credible organization venerated and respected organization ranks South Sudan as number three (3) among the failed and fragile states. South Sudan is also ranked number three (3) among the countries that have the least able ability to reduce poverty.

However, Transparency International and the World Bank landed South Sudan on the first position (1) among the most corrupt countries and labelled it as the most corrupt country in the World.

South Sudan government had no strategic vision and policy. The government is run by quasi-pseudo skilled individuals who are addicted to talk, talk and talk without substantial results.

Again, South Sudan is ranked number three among the failed and fragile states, a country where the president, ministers and some governors claim full entitlement of oil revenues, built their houses in Juba and mansions in abroad, and never appropriated small percentage to those people in villages who have sacrified their sons and daughters during years of the liberation struggles.

A country where foreigners empty banks of South Sudan of funds (i.e. Kenyans and Ethiopians) and send them to their countries each month.

A country where UNMISS allocates protection where ever it wants. The government of South Sudan is irrefutably in its worst state of affairs.

South Sudan border between the South Sudan and Sudan had not been demarcated; hence she had no internationally recognized border. The border between South Sudan and Kenya remain murky. South Sudan disputes towns in border with Uganda. Clearly, South Sudan does not have an international and regional recognized borders.

On the security fronts, the government fears of being accused of war crimes by the international parties if it chooses to use military against robbers of cattle and child abductors. Juba carefully chooses not use military, police or security personnel in an event of tribal conflicts.

This key policy of government amounts to lawlessness in several states of South Sudan. The policy of non-intervention has or will trigger an armed race as tribes are left at the mercy of cattle raiders and child abductors. Various tribes will embark on buying more military weapons and equipment for their own protections.

The government policy of non-intervention will simply turn this beloved country into Somalia, a country where each tribe provides its own security. This will inevitably illegitimatize government authority among insecured tribes.

It is a worst policy any sovereign and viable state can advocate but in South Sudan, officials are scared of the UNMISS. Appeasement policy toward Khartoum and UN agencies has either left thousands of civilians killed or immensely suffered.

Constitution and Agreement
Liberal constitutional democracy outlines eight years of presidency as an unsurpassed and legal periods for any president to set concrete policies, and model of achieving. Although South Sudan had no constitutional democracy, empirical evidences indicate the president of South Sudan would have accomplished substantial programs/works in eight years, even if the country emerged from the ruins of the 21 years of war.

The nation should been developed with it little resources it had, but the president opted to build and satisfy his own insatiability.

History indicates that constitution is annexed to guide nation through challenges and difficulties. Transitional Constitution of South Sudan was not designed to do that. It was adopted to enhance the powers and responsibilities of the executive.

And interestingly enough, this transitional constitution had expired, and the South Sudan Constitutional Review Commission did not either review, amend or write a new constitution.

The country is officially operating without constitution. There are laterally no laws that are meant to protect citizens, and no legal grounds for bringing criminals to justice.

Taking towns to village was a policy spearheaded by Dr. John Garang during the liberation periods. He asserted that “there is no meaning of revolution unless it makes our people happy, unless the masses of our people as a result become prosperous.”

He echoed development as core center-piece of liberation struggle. Dr. Garang said that the government must provide enough food, clean drinking water, education, health services or the revolution is nothing unless it makes our people happy. He suggest that the people could even prefer the government of NIF (National Islamic Front of Khartoum) that provides salt than the government of the SPLM that does not provide salt.”

In the last eight years, what has been the hallmark of Kiir’s administration? The whole government has been submerged in nothing but lousy talks and lousy works.

In the last eight years, there have been little or no development, counties and states infrastructures and roads in their pre-independence conditions.

Kiir has failed to even suggest policies that ensure foreign businesses, communities and regional organizations operating in South Sudan to help in remedying challenges of poverty reduction.

Kiir premier policy that will help write his legacy, the Cooperation Agreement that he signed with Khartoum. It is now clear that it was digression from the CPA. Signing new accord while the CPA has not been fully implemented is not leadership but inability to lead.

The decision to sign Cooperation Agreement had done more damages to South Sudanese than to his legacy. The issue of the borders, the popular consultations and Abyei Protocol were not policies invented by Juba, they were signed by Khartoum and President Bashir knows it.

However, we all know that the ultimate power lies with the people of Abyei and they have spoken in their referendum. It is now time for the international community especially the United States and Europe Union to recognize and accept the Abyei Referendum’s result.

After 8 years of his presidency, the hope, optimism, and vision of the SPLM have been lost. Governing independent nation and leading liberation struggle prove opposite, and indeed, too parallel but one thing is clear, challenges facing independent state cannot be resolved using policies and mentalities of the liberation.

He is frightened of criticism, and prioritized killing of people who criticized him. Well, Mr. President I got advice for you since you are good at listening to any advice: starts buying more bullets because armies armed with pens have just started writings.

Grading President’s Performance
I will use rubric and renowned mathematical metrics to grade President Kiir’s achievements in the last 8 Years:

1. I gave the president (A) for holding peaceful and fair referendum and declaring independent on time but (F) for failing to demarcate the borders, honoring Abyei Protocols, and reluctant in term of implementing popular consultation in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain in the last eight years.
2. Signing Cooperation Agreement was disaster to South Sudanese people because it impedes implementation of Comprehensive Agreement; I gave president grade (D-) for trying alternative policy although it finally failed.
3. Training of soldiers, security personnel and police, I gave the president grade (B+) but I gave the president grade (F) for failing to provide protection his citizens.
4. A creation of Corruption Taskforce was a better policy, I gave the president grade (B-) for establishment but he failed to prosecute culprits and corruptors, hence I gave the president grade (F).
5. The president has maximized and consolidated powers of executive, massive use of presidential powers, issuing decrees and extensive privileges; hence I gave the president grade (F).
6. He manages to provide his own security and not the security of citizens, and combined with his autocratic rules, I gave the president (F).
7. Construction of roads is best the program that would have moved South Sudan’s economy; his bad choice of policy and presiding over the most corrupt nation and fragile state, I gave the president grade (F).
8. Appropriating nation’s budget to ministries rather legislature, a body responsible for budgeting and grants public officials luxurious trips encompass bad governance, I gave the president grade (F).
9. He supports and embroils in buying the most expensive cars i.e. SUV, and making Juba the most expensive village in the world, I gave the president grade (F).
10. He fails to connect three main cities with roads (Wau, Malakal, and Juba) I gave the president grade (F).
11. Issuing decrees, President Salva is effective in firing and appointing new ministers and governors, hence I gave the president grade (F).
12. The President overall performances of the last eight years of his presidency is grade (F)

Recommends Policies
South Sudan is an Agricultural market economy. Hence, I will recommend governmental programs that would rejuvenate economy and help the private sector to thrive in the midst of economic chaos. I will suggest programs that seem to be simple but if implemented, they will have lasting impact on the citizens.

Majority of South Sudanese people said that situation of South Sudan cannot and will not be transformed because the reality on the ground reject change. This is a lie, we are capable of change, this bad culture is spearheaded by failed and cowardly individuals who want to benefit at the expense of entire citizens.

Eradication of corruptions by introducing strict ethical laws, conversion of dysfunctional government to vibrant agricultural market economy: nation-building programs are fundamentally vital to me, as a concerned citizen, I will carefully suggest the best fiscal economic and political policies that would assist citizens and the government of South Sudan.

In the next few years, South Sudan could possibly move its few resources to improve educational quality, health, and political structure efficiently and effectively if it wants to stands on its own without foreign influence and interventions.

The author teaches political Science and History at Career College, former Nebraska legislative assistance and passionate advocates of responsive government that observes rules of laws, and guarantees citizens protection; as an important principle of democratic government. Besides, he is specialized in Public administrations and policy. He can be reached at ajangassociates@gmail.com

11 Comments

  1. Nhial Gatkuoth Chung says:

    You have explicitly posted a very informative article that highlights hindrances and set back of Kiir leadership. there are some areas he deserves to be given credit like what you did grading him.
    Obligations he fails to correct are rampant corruption, rising tribalism, insecurity that become almost the order of the day has made this country very difficult to live in.
    Economic hardship is another problem to the president leadership where there is no policies outlined to curb and stabilize this unnecessary fluctuation .
    To reshape SS political trend the govt should prioritize the basic needs and services delivery to the local people deep down the villages, train security apparatus not to protect him but the entire nation, prioritize and formulate a normative framework on agricultural schemes to boost economy of this fragile nation, we need practical changes put in place in order to streamline all the doubts.
    We need standard physical infrastructures, health facilities, schools and clean water supply to our local population. SPLM as a ruling party should work very hard to restore its credit and vision of taking towns to the rural areas and the SS communities enjoy peace dividends and feel secured.

    • kiir must go an alternative must come that is the only why out.we need change,
      development, new faces, kiir wonted to jienganize the country we have no time for that…….let him go.

  2. T says:

    Good article. I get frustrated with ”should” and ”need” statements by everybody. The government ”should” do this, the government ”should” do that, we ”need” this, we ”need” that.

    WE ALL KNOW THE SHOULD AND NEEDS ALREADY. They have been documented and recommended and reported on and prayed for and cried over and enshrined in meeting minutes by EVERYBODY for the last 8 years and, before that, for countless decades and even centuries. The government KNOWS what the people and experts and advisers think it ”should” do and what the people ”need” already. Their response: ”why should we?” and “no we should not!”

    Now what? The government could care less. If a good recommendation was going to change their minds, it would have by now.

  3. Lare Justice says:

    Dear my fellow Southerners,
    for us as a nation to be able to move on, Salva Kiir of Warrap State must go and leave now. That’s the only option left. This confused coward rebel leader or dictator in the making must be dealt with by all means. Folks, this man is our nation’s problem or Cancer. Salva Kiir allegedly stolen $4 billion U.S. dollars with his gangs. The man who created this mess in our home land should know that that Upper Nile Oil is a terrible thing to be wasted……

  4. @ Lare, please know yourself, I don’t appreciate when some of you still address us as Southerners, we are SOUTH SUDANESE and always will be.

  5. jay johnson says:

    Pager,

    there is no question that Kiir’s government performance have been below the standard. But the alternative, which most people believe to be Riek Machar would be a disaster. A traitor and betrayer like Dr. Riek can not be allow to govern a nation that was liberated with the blood of our soldiers.

    If kiir is the worst as you believe he is, what is the alternative then?

    • bolabokdit says:

      Riak .M should not slaughter mothers, fathers, friends and in some cases entire kinship in the villages in order to govern orphans or whatever left from SPLA soldiers, even God will not except this.

  6. Dictatorship in making says:

    what about Gajack Nuer killed by Garang in 1985, are these not people? Dinka you need to be careful otherwise you will take us to Somalia situation. when other leaders from other tribes are not good and your leader is good, as a nation we need to forget the past and build the new nation. recalling will take us backward.

    • Dictatorship in making:

      I don’t know what Somalia situation you are talking about. I think we have had been in Somalia situation between 1984 and 2005. We had formed our own tribal militias and fought each other until some of us left South Sudan in fear of being wiped out. So please stop threatening people about the Somalia situation and let us explore ways and means to rebuild this Country of ours.

      “The truth hurts but it is worth telling it”
      Lukudu Gatkuoth Garang!

  7. John Q says:

    Pager I agree with your posting. you have said all, no doubt in my mind that this president has failed the South Sudan who stood behind him terribly.

  8. Paul majok says:

    I must say you guys are all correct president kiir has failed in the leadership of SPLM political party, I believe it’s time for president kiir to go and allow others to take over from where he stopped if he does that then south Sudan will move forward.

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