BY: BLESSED ABRAHAM, Sydney, Australia, JUL/01/2013, SSN;
It was just a matter of time before we would see vice president Dr Riak Machar out in the cold. Being in the cold once more, he will without doubt experience the extreme wilderness and the heat withal and may by himself realise how horrific being in the cold can affect.
In my first article [Justice thrown away: “who is who in the SPLM”], I predicted these tough times based on the former rebel commander’s rabble rousing speeches and the smear campaign he instituted behind the scene to remove his boss.
There is a saying that an early bird catches the worm. Likewise, there is also unforeseen casualty insinuated to it. That is, if by coincidence that bird comes across its predator, it will definably meet its fate.
Machar’s early campaign consisting of notoriety and absolute indeterminable criticism, spearheaded by a group of hooligans and people with corrupt tendencies, who by pledging their support unto him as a flag bearer to remove the President and seal possible investigations in their fraudulent activities, has now backfired.
This political turmoil that has eroded the state for months that divided the party and had affected service delivery which might not have pleased the president and the public whose welfare rests on the government.
The difficulties owing to the removal of Machar has nothing to do with him as an individual nor to the power struggle in my understanding, but had something to do with the interest of the party and the people, in fact no body is bigger than the SPLM in a literal sense.
Relieved from his duties prompts a question, why now? What was the president waiting for when Machar was busy campaigning against and dividing the party? Why did he make him vice in the first place?
Having referred to him as the “first comrade in arm” the president should have realised that something is wrong with that reference. What happened to one trusted cadre? Mind you, things are often hard and controversial in politics and you can really see some bad moves by bad guys when it comes to survival.
In the game of political survival, Dr Teny has been out-radicalised, out-popularised and ultimately out-positioned. The odds are staged against him because surviving from survival is a hard won trial that seems unlikely.
Although he will try to independently run or form a party to contest 2015 elections, he will only agitate for change and save his soul, that equally is arithmetical without an answer. Should he pin his hopes against 2015 elections, then he will have to fight even harder.
It is just a sad site, seeing men used to wielding so much power being publicly humiliated, reduced to sludge, isn’t fun. You just can’t but feel pity for Riak and Amuom, the damage they have done notwithstanding.
When someone starts saying, “the president was right to remove me,” when no one has asked them, you know it is rough out there. It is good to look back in order to look ahead, to check the previous wrongs and rectify things for the better future of our people.
Look left and look right to proceed with safety, isn’t something all people do. There are those who do not look back and look ahead nor look left and right. They amalgamate things to their peril.
If the move to remove vice president was about survival, then they will continuously keep him out to secure fundamental safety in the same way they would have done if that decision points to policy disagreements.
Of course, there are many people who think this decision is severe and would have faced different political approaches – by not removing Machar, but suspending him and hauling him before the disciplinary committee for bringing the party into disrepute and for dividing and campaigning against the party.
In the end, his actions will lead to expulsion or relief which can be examined differently if he is found guilty, but his immediate removal is a clear short cut for safety and a politically motivated one I believe, but it’s a right decision.
In fact, there are two most discussable and interesting scenarios in this saga, Kiir didn’t prioritise sacking his friend before the party’s convention, but it seemed there was unavoidable mounting pressure by his disciples, specially those who felt that Machar’s existence as vice was a risk to the president and to them.
They also know that the chances of keeping their positions may be ditched if Dr Machar Teny is elected president. The president was under siege to act before things fall apart.
First, an intention to remove him peacefully based on the so-called presidential decree is an advantage of being an incumbent. Second, to indict him regardless of the universal pardon issued by the party after the CPA was signed. By the way that pardon can be overridden by statute-defeated and void, exposing him to the helm of the ICC.
It would have proved difficult and could have caused a deep rift in the country and in the party, had he been indicted by the ICC while still in power, because he could easily use his power to campaign against a politically motivated move, publicly and in the government, which would not have been healthy for the country.
Now that he is out, his survival rests in his hands. It is twofold: if he fights back, he will crash and burn. And if he surrenders in defeat and sells himself as a sacrificial lamb hoping to be accepted into the family again, it will even prove more difficult for him because some sections will make sure he is kept in a complete wilderness.
It looks simple when we look at it that way, but it is not that simple as such. Machar is a politician never to be written off in the simplicity of our judgements and shallow discussions of self-favour.
Believe it or not, he will die trying. He will kick, punch and bite anything is necessary to survive. The public needs the president they can trust and who can deliver. If Kiir is hell bent on reserving too much power for himself without delivering to the masses, then his dethroned comrade will be able to capitalise and resurrect himself.
There is nothing unfortunate as having an insignificant bunch of political nonentities like Pagan Amum. Gosh! This man has sacked the sweat and the blood of our people more than we can imagine. A man for himself with allegedly millions and millions of stolen money. We didn’t want that for our country.
God and not Kiir have punished him because his time has come and he has to pay or leave in disgrace because he is not a part of that government and the people. He has drained enough.
He, like Machar, cuts a lonely figure, sad figure. The political engineering and embezzlement of public funds he allegedly did has been visited by mysterious Shiluk god ‘nyikang’ who told him he had embarrassed Shilluk’s dignity and integrity and that he will deal with him.
Indeed, this nonsensical Shilluk boy has embarrassed himself to the madness of SPLM, not the Shiluk community because his corrupt tendency has nothing to do with his community at large. Don’t celebrate too much for their demise though, for we don’t know when our turn will, because in this world you could easily become a victim of something you did not do but not in his case.
South Sudan is going through a first transition. This must not be achieved through crooked ways but through peaceful transition, in absolute transparency and honesty. The SPLM must rid itself of these crooks if it wants to achieve that transition.
BLESSED ABRAHAM is the Director of Young Christian Association of south Sudan.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org