BY: DENG G. BUL, Australia, FEB/11/2014, SSN;
I am not only saddened by this deadly armed violence but also feel ashamed. Having signed the transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, the president stood in front of huge masses of people from all tribes holding the sacred book on both hands, kissed it and declared “Let all the citizens of this new nation be equal before the law and have equal access to opportunities and equal responsibilities to serve the motherland.”
Also in the same speech, he added “we have been bombed, maimed, enslaved and treated worse than a refugee in our own country.” A little over two years later, we are being bombed, maimed enslaved and treated even worse than a refugee in our country.
Sadly though, the enemies we face today are our two big brothers-the ever impatient Dr. Riek Machar and the cold minded but intolerant Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit.
Confusingly, the world has found itself yet again grappling with what it means seeing South Sudanese mercilessly killing themselves. Yet these same people had fought relentlessly against what they perceived as injustice committed against them by their other brothers in the far north.
I am not only saddened by this deadly armed violence but also feel ashamed and cannot walk with my head high even though my president once gladly said, now let’s walk without any fear. Shame has bent my neck, sir, and I walk in fear of shame.
So what went wrong in our young but impoverished nation? There are numerous reasons that plunged the country into chaos. However, grievances revolve mostly around the constitution.
The president has failed to honour the sacred book he once fell in love with. Our president is either making a mockery of the constitution or has disregarded it as the other paper- little piece of a dark-red book.
First, let me begin by reminding ourselves that our cry had always been lack of freedom. Lack of freedom from the Arabs’ islamization, arabisation, marginalisation, corruption (including nepotism), dictatorship, but haven’t we ended up practicising what we actually campaigned against?
We have in a real sense, become a monarch society, the worse governing system still exists in the 21ST CENTURY.
A country governs by autocratic decrees, not by a consensus. In other words we are the real enemy to ourselves. This is how.
Removal of elected state governors- Eng. Chol Tong and Gen. Taban Deng:
There is no doubt president Kiir is constitutionally allowed to remove elected state governor/s in circumstances of insecurity threatening national security and territorial integrity, article (101) (r).
The law prescribes it and should be accepted as such whether you agree with this provision or not, your acceptance of the law does not right the constitution; it instead confirms the existence of such law.
Article (101) (s) on the other hand authorizes the president to appoint a state care-taker governor who shall prepare for elections within sixty days of the occurrence.
However in an apparent setback to state citizens’ right, the president has intentionally refused to allow South Sudanese to exercise their constitutional right to vote for the next governor of their choice.
This is not only a clear violation of the constitution, but a message to those states citizens that the president views them not smart enough to choose a governor.
In more defining words, the president is regarding those state citizens as mere occupiers of the land, not forces to reckon with. Well, I do not think that I can be smarter than my boss, but if I appear to be, why not giving her my due respect?
People are his boss but President Kiir presents himself the genius, no matter what the constitution says he knows better. So why listening to the poor guys any way?
My question is, if the two governors were sacked just because of insecurity in their respective states, wouldn’t also be wise to remove former Jonglei state governor Mr. Kuol Manyang Juuk?
Was Jonglei a stable state during Kuol tenure? Whatever arguments the president or his supporters have in support of their boss’ decision only reinforce the rampage deficit of truth exist within the president’s quarter.
Appointing MPs instead of people electing them:
If I am right, then we may be the only country on earth where MPs are appointed by the president.
Article (56) (a) states that members of National Legislative Assembly (NLA) shall be elected through universal adult suffrage in free and fair elections and by secret ballot.
However to be fair to the president of the republic of South Sudan, his Excellency Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, I must first admit that appointing MPs was inevitable in some cases.
For example, those MPs who were made redundant and could no longer remain in the north after independence were constitutionally allowed to be politically accommodated.
However, feeling the devastating defeat at the aftermath of the parliament declining to confirm Mr. Telar Ring Takping Deng as justice minister, Gen. Kiir resorted to intimidating tactic telling the parliament that he would dissolve the house and let them roam the streets of Juba.
Seeing the threat and the little hope of making a living outside the government, the SPLM MPs mockingly clapped for the president and so the speaker and his two deputies were elected.
These appointment were illegal because article (69) (1) states that NLA shall elect a speaker and two deputies among members at the first sitting.
That to me was a desperate move by a politically squeezed president trying to claim authority through whatever means he could think of.
Having addicted to autocratic decrees and in a sense of victory over his opponents, the president made yet another illegal appointment replacing Joseph Nguen Monytuel with Nyuon Janguan as MPs for Mayom County.
Article (63) (2) requires the position be filled through a by-election organised by the National Election Commissions within sixty days following the occurrence of the vacancy.
In all these appointments, president Kiir, in a humiliating move, is telling his fellow South Sudanese that you either shut up or put up. Thus people’s right became the president’s right.
So does article (45) (3), every citizen shall enjoy all the rights guaranteed by this constitution” still holds? Was it a genuine declaration any way?
I will defer the answer to two gentlemen Mr Michael Makuei and Mr. Telar Ring to advise us on this matter.
Treason charges on the accused coup plotters Vs Defence of the constitution:
Article (4) (2) explicitly states, any person or group of persons who attempt (s) to over throw the constitutional government or suspends or abrogate this constitution commits treason.
Abrogate means to abolish by formal or official means; annul by authoritative act or to put aside. Now let’s think together then ask ourselves, did the president respect the constitution in all his actions or has he put it aside?
In my observation, he gradually became addicted to decrees, confusing the party for a country and seems to belief that he deserves the presidency as a natural result of his past contribution.
The president through his decrees has distorted the constitution, put it aside then acted as though he owns it? So he does commit treason, doesn’t he?
Precisely I blamed Kiir’s constitution as the cause of this armed violence.
Now that I have walked you through the above few paragraphs, I hope I have not only reminded you about what caused this armed struggle but have also informed those who had not been able to understand the nature of the conflict.
Everyone is aware that vast majority of our people rely heavily on third parties as means of acquainting themselves with what is going on in the country.
Some are being misinformed whereas others are being told not to listen to the news. That is wrong our people deserve no less; they must be correctly informed about what the South Sudanese Joshua is doing. This may be a crime in Juba; but I disagree, so read on.
Unsurprisingly, our Joshua has fallen short of the glory we accorded to him when he ascended to power back in 2005.
Essentially, it was an emotional comparison exaggeration of the man, for Joshua respected the laws of his Jews’ God.
In contrast our Joshua gets irritated by the mention of law near him, possibly because the anthropologist turned legal advisor is advising him not to bother himself with it.
It will be a great advantage for the president to pause and look back because this is no time to indulge in anger, while the country is going down the drain.
These are times for a uniting leadership, not times for reminding one’s political adversaries about what they had done in the past; for who would argue that we had been saints during the liberation war?
Didn’t commander Kiir and his comrades give orders to carry our horrendous crimes during the liberation war?
So the president’s self glorifying testimony of “have never betrayed my people” wasn’t only unhelpful but divisive by any standard.
The notion that somehow one evil is better than other should be discouraged. Gen. Kiir is no better than Dr. Riek; they are two devils that deserve hell.
What our young nation needs is apolitical type of leadership, one that condemns defamation while encourages trust building. END