Gov. Kuol Manyang: South Sudan rulers are birds of passage not settlement!

BY: Wani Tombe Lako, SOUTH SUDANESE, APR/30/2013, SSN;

It’s socially, culturally, morally, religiously, politically, and in sovereignty terms, refreshing, to hear Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk, of Jonglei State, bemoaning the fact that the majority of his government employees, may be, including some, or all of his ministers, are keeping their families in other foreign countries, and that, I suppose, according to Governor Manyang, isn’t nice. To put it politely, for the sake of social and intellectual harmony!

I am just bemused by the fact that it has taken this Governor of Jonglei State a good eight (8) years, that is, from 2005 to 2013, to realise that South Sudan is ruled by rulers, the majority of whom are birds of passage as opposed to settled birds.

It is very funny that it has just occurred to the Governor of Jonglei State that most of his colleagues in the government of South Sudan (GoSS), if not him, treat South Sudan like a goldmine. They are here in South Sudan (SS), just to mine the gold and send the proceeds back home — in Uganda, Kenya and elsewhere in Europe, America, Australia, and such like.

On the other hand, constitutionally and administratively, the temporal ultimatum issued by the said Governor is utterly ultra vires. In this regard, the said Governor has gone beyond constitutional and administrative powers allowed him within his powers as Governor of the said State. His intentions within the remit of this temporal ultimatum are unlawful threats against the human rights of freedom of movement of the people who shall be affected by these intentions, if put into effect.

On the other hand, at Common-law, which is the formal legal tradition in SS, the said ultimatum is also culpable. The said Governor cannot attempt to make laws on the hoofs as it were, for this shall amount to ruling his State through retrogressive laws.

This Governor of Jonglei State ought to be informed that, at law and in accordance with constitutional and administrative laws of SS, as they stand at the moment, the whereabouts of his employees’ families, as well as future intentions of his employees, and including his ministers, as to where they want to keep their families, is none of his business.

Unless there were clauses in their contracts of employment expressly stating that these employees shall keep their children in SS during the course of their employment with the government of Jonglei State, the Governor of the said State must not interfere with the family lives of these citizens of SS, ministers and all employees of Jonglei State.

Something is constitutionally, administratively, and legally wrong with the senior rulers of SS. Is it raw ignorance, or raw arrogance, or just outright application of jungle laws in the administration of SS, including the lives of the people herein?

South Sudanese are not commonplace chattels. If the peoples of SS are not being threatened with crucifixion by deputy governors and if they are not being barred from working anywhere in the State by the concerned Governor or now, if they are not being told where to keep their children, they are singularly and severally being left to fend for themselves in the comprehensive quagmire of SS.

The majority of these rulers in Federal SS behave like very bad landlords, who treat their tenants like some human garbage. In fact, our comprehensive collective dilemmas, in SS, are akin to comprehensive collective dilemmas of retarded children under the care of very bad nannies in a hostile and forlorn hostel.

Therefore, I still stand by what I said and wrote, some years ago, and that is that SS is like an orphanage kindergarten, being run by and under the sole authority of convicted pedophiles.

The least the Governor of Jonglei State can do in a way of persuading his employees to bring their dependents to SS, is by not accommodating them in family size government houses, and restricting his ministers to just one vehicle, instead of the standard two cars, one for the minister, and the other one for the madam, as it were. Such administrative decisions shall not be infringing any human or legal rights of the said employees in Jonglei State.

However, the Governor cannot deny his employees their marriage allowances with or without children, as long as there are legal documents supporting such claims. My legal advice is that, Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk must get himself an excellent legal adviser from one of his relatives as is the practice in SS.

The Governor of Jonglei State ought to know that, moral wrongs are not always legal wrongs. Governor Manyang, you cannot and shall not convert the ‘ought’ into the ‘is.’

On the other hand, ethical, moral and religious sins cannot be converted into legal felonies, whether civil or criminal. Laws must be reasonable, just, fair, objective, predicable and discoverable.

Governors and others cannot just get out of their beds and begin criminalizing conducts, acts, and omissions; just because they think that they as Governors are right, or because they think that such decisions shall make them popular with the voters, tribesmen and tribeswomen, or general followers.

Leadership is a tricky business Governor Kuol Manyang, and it is dangerously saturated with constitutional, legal, and administrative dilemmas.

I have in many occasions condemned this tourist mentality of our rulers in SS, whereby, I called them political sojourners. However, this is argued from political mortality standpoint.

I for example said that the schools and hospitals to which our rulers send their children for education in Uganda and Kenya, were built by Kenyan and Ugandan mothers and fathers for their children’s education. However, we in SS appear not have reached that level of social development in which we can also build and sustain our own schools for the education of our children in SS.

The saga and tragedy of the lost billions of dollars in SS, through ministerial theft, and other frauds, against public fund notwithstanding.

The byword of starting from scratch appears to have become a permanent excuse for government misfeasance.

After eight (8) years of ruling ourselves by ourselves, and being in charge of billions of dollars, an amount of wealth which is more than whole budgets of Uganda and Kenya put together during the same period and here we are, still sending our children to Uganda and Kenya for primary education.

I am not going to buy the argument that because we have been at war for many years, we have therefore lost our educational and health infrastructures. Any first year student of development economics will disagree with such contention, given the billions of dollars which went through our hands in SS; if put into good logical usages, from 2005 to date, these monies could have transformed us into some success story in this part of Africa.

However, how can we positively advance if we have been busy carrying our monies to Uganda and other places, through refrigerators, coffins, jute-sacks and such like?!

Governor Manyang, the relative peace, tranquility and security that your employees and others in SS want to savour and bask in, in Uganda and Kenya, did not just drop from the blue skies on to these countries. In these countries, there are certain cultural values, and traditions which value human life.

The majority of Ugandans for example, do not just enter into one another’s house and begin looting or beating the occupants for some tribal reasons. This is commonplace in SS. These acts are not committed by foreigners in SS. They are committed by particular tribes in SS.

The police in Uganda and Kenya can at least protect the citizens of these countries. Compare the situation with us in SS. The peoples in these East African countries in which we want to live are peaceful. The rulers there are at least, relatively predicable. The people there value humanity. The peoples there want to produce, and indeed do produce their own food, not like us in SS; where, we abandon our villages to come and live in hotels at the expense of public purse.

Or, we abandon our villages to come and crowd in our relatives’ homes in all urban centers in SS, or we abandon our villages to come and sell government monies in the form of US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, and Euros in markets places because our kinsmen and women are in charge of these public monies in the GoSS; therefore, it is free for all for the few of us.

Governor Manyang; these are just few reasons why your employees do not want their children to stay in Jonglei in particular, and SS at large. Let us show our peoples that we are humans, and then they shall let their children stay in SS.

If we show our peoples that we are political sojourners, they shall also become tourists through their children like us the rulers in Juba and Bor. Can you blame them, Governor Manyang?

The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Law; he can be contacted at


  1. Dau-network says:

    Wani Lako.
    I agree to disagreed with you for some points.
    First at all, trials are better than none. When you are wrong you’re corrected, when your trial is progressing you documented.
    Governor kuol Manyang is half-right because our country is really like mining field where we dugout gold and left Sand.
    All our monies go to Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere. For treatment, for school fees, for renting and other living expenses.
    If they come home, that monies could boost our economy, particularly Jonglei has big number in East Africa than the rest.
    You contradicted yourself by allowing monies to being sent while you demand development, where would
    the monies for development come from? 80% of our salaries go to Kenya and Uganda. Let them come back otherwise country will end up like that!!
    We’ll try governor.
    Warning to authors.
    Don’t confuse the public, Rome was not built in 8 years.
    Contribute positive things not negative.
    Focusing on corruption and tribalism including 4 billions to be paid back.

  2. Mr. wani tombe Lako
    your article on Governor Kuol manyang: South Sudan rulers are birds of passage and not settlement is correctly worded and this is exactly what Governor Kuol manyang wants to change in his state of Jonglei. Governor Kuol manyang is one of the few hard working governors and it is only the people letting him down. It was Governor Kuol manyang who started to fight corruption in the work place commonly known as “GHOST WORKERS” from the payroll and to retire people who are illiterate and are holding onto a post doing nothing because they have nothing to offer.

    Governor Kuol Manyang introduced a must dug pit latrines and paper bags for shopping in jonglei state which is environmentally friendly instead of the plastic bags now causing havoc down the Nile like another kind of floating vegetation. We got what we fought for, for many years and it is time to work hard to develop it and that is what Governor Kuol manyang is fighting, but not laziness.

    When the Governor says people should bring their children back home it is very clear. How much money do parents spend on education of their children in foreign countries such as Kenya and Uganda?. Don’t you think if the money is used in the country it will make a difference? You are a government Official, how can you decide to leave your work and expect to be paid a salary? This does not make sense, Governor Kuol manyang is right like this shameless claim that when you are a minister you have to have two cars, one for you and the other for madam. Where on Earth is this happening and why?.

    Too much dependence on Government is the one killing development and when some people begin to say this is wrong, people are against it; how about those who dot not work for the government?. It is time we have to change our mentality. It is we ourselves who can make a change and develop our country to benefit from it like those other countries. I agree with Governor Kuol Manyang for his call for those in diaspora that is one way of avoiding a brain drain. What is needed is the creation of jobs and to improve services to the people especially education and health. we need people like Kuol Manyang who now see that certain things need to be changed and that is what people want and need now.

  3. Danide says:

    Hello Dr. Wani Tombe!
    Welcome back big man! Of course we want you to share your ideas for the development of our nascent state! It is encouraging to hear you talking again after a long time of hibernation.

  4. Am really very glad to read your articles once more in this website, you are most welcome back home big man. hope to see you vocal on this feeble nation. once more welcome home.

  5. Viper says:

    Welcome back, Dr Wani Tombe! South Sudan is in need of your ideas this time, unlike the hard times when you were preaching tribalism specifically Barism. This time, you need to come back as an intellectual, not as a Bari tribalised young boy. Your clean ideas are needed this time around provided that they are clean, anyway welcome back.

  6. Naath Nuer says:

    Kol Manyang is somebody shouldnt be in that position in first place. The man is heart filled with hatred and tribalism we all know it. I can believe that he can hold very broad office and survive. Am sorry indeed for him as well as those who put him in office as governor of important state. I think people Jongei had to think twice this time. They don’t need to make mistake and elected somebody who is not qualified for State position.

  7. Leader says:

    That’s a good statement from a great leader.

  8. Lion OF Afrika says:

    Hello Wani, you did touch some critical issues that should be addressed to our current government of South Sudan. I came to US few yeas ago as a refugee, and currently living in the state of Colorado. I have seen one SPLA official buy a house with cash without negotiations. Can you imagine this.. in America a foreigner bought a house with cash while most Americans cannot afford to do that. I doubt if South Sudan will ever be developed like other countries in Africa because our blind so called leaders cannot see the future.

  9. Oh, God! we have leaders without vision, they have been taught by president Bashir the word insect. One in Lakes State is deputy governor Mabor Achol Kuer. Saying those who are writing on the State government if we catch them i will crucify them like Jesus Christ and Jonglei State the governor Kuol Manyang Juuk. Saying south sudan leaders are birds. Oh God, try to help Journalists and website activists in Lakes State.

  10. Concerned SS Teen says:

    I do not agree with your article. Governor Kuol Manyang is trying to open the minds of our fellow South Sudanese. He wants South Sudan to be a place where children can be raised, where people can have a functional country. He is sick of corruption, in fact we all are! He needs people to feel that we are not doing enough for this country, as is true. We definitely have potential but the fact that most government officials live abroad and have raised their children abroad where they do not see the difficulties we face every day in South Sudan is quite appalling. We are morally poor! We need to take a step forward.

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