By Tong Kot Kuocnin, LLB, LLM, Advocate, FEB/19/2016, SSN;
After eight years of president Kiir’s and Dr. Machar’s presidency, an unexpected political storm swept through the government of the Republic of South Sudan in July 2013 causing flu to the untouchable oligarchs who have controlled virtually everything from cleaners to the Ministers.
This political storm caused the political honeymoon that had existed for the last eight years between president Kiir and Dr. Machar to cease.
With the peace agreement signed by the parties to the conflict, Dr. Machar made his way back to the presidency for the second time since his dismissal in July 2013 which caused the nation to slip back to war in December same year.
Now, with president Kiir and Dr. Machar back to the same room with all their old wolves-in-sheepskin where their political honeymoon ended, what business are they going to carry out?
Is the yesterday’s devil that became an angel in the dawn, having cleansed themselves through peace agreement, has all it takes to fight rising cases of corruption in the government, implement all reforms, and break the yoke of nepotism and tribalism which has infiltrated the system?
The answer is both negative and affirmative. Negative in sense that the group that is coming back as Angel Gabriel was part and parcel of the old house which had housed all corrupt officials for the last eight years.
They were the lead architects in all acts leading to corruption, nepotism and tribalism of the highest order. It was because they were chased out of the house of corruption, nepotism and tribalism that they caused havoc and turmoil so that they can come back to the same house which they managed to get.
They are not angels as the few imprudent thought to them be. They are accomplices in all that had befallen on South Sudan.
Affirmative in the sense that the group will fight harder and harder to make sure that in order to cleanse themselves of all dirt, they must minimize corruption, nepotism and tribalism.
For them having a clean political card in 2018 isn’t easy and must begin with swearing in of their representatives. I know it not easy to eradicate corruption for they themselves would first quench their thirsty as the heat of the last 21 months has not been easy and has to be replaced.
If the opposition is realistic with the people of South Sudan but not wolves in sheep’s skin, they must begin to do away with nepotism this time because the last eight years Dr. Machar spent as VP were marred by a lot of nepotism and tribalised settings as manifested by the set up of his last office as VP when you hear no any other language in his office but Thok Nath (Nuer language).
Where many who had visited his office those times felt as if they were in one of the sultan’s of Nath office not VP’s office. This is nepotism and tribalism of the highest order.
That office represents and symbolizes the nation not tribes and whoever is seated in it is a symbol of the nation not a tribal leader.
The same to the office of the president, South Sudanese must see themselves there not only the two tribes (Dinka and Nuer).
However, with return of Dr. Machar as 1st VP and the widest gap of the social cohesion which has been created by the conflict coupled with political hatred between the president and his 1st deputy, not much is expected to be done as both of them will or might not listen to one another and either side will work for the disgrace and downfall of the other.
If the two parties are bogged down and always at political loggerhead, corruption will take its toll and a return to war on the widest scale would be an inevitable option for the defeated group.
This government will deliver nothing, nothing at all because what they have all failed to do in eight years can’t be done in 30 months.
It is just a return to business as usual because the parties will just sit indignantly as they did in the last eight years and divide the resources of the nation together and if these resources are equitably divided amongst themselves then fine, no war.
But if one party took more than the other, war surely will ensue.
This is just a break to continue the war but the worse will surface again in 2018 for nobody, no any party especially the warring parties that have just signed peace will not accept the outcome of the elections especially if the results point to defeat of either party.
This is just a containment of war for a while but let’s wait for 2018 for Dr. Riek will continuously cheat innocent Nuers to fight on his behalf on the pretext that the Dinka have killed, marginalized, and oppressed Nuer people whom he claims to rightfully inherit power as prophesied by Ngundeng.
This is the tactic he employed to mobilize his mass support from the Nuer community since 1991 and he did the same in 2013, both of which he succeeded to cling to power at their expense.
The ball is at the court of the opposition to tell South Sudanese that indeed they were part of the government that has squandered and looted billions of money for themselves and their immediate families and that they want to pay back the people of South Sudan through maintenance of peace, stability, human rights protection, good governance and strict adherence to the rule of law not of man anymore.
But otherwise, president Kiir and Dr. Machar 2nd presidency is a return to business as usual where looting of public resources on an unprecedented scale will be the order of the day. Wish you success in all your endeavours Mr. Opposition.
Tong Kot is a Master of Laws (LLM) Candidate at the School of Law, University of Nairobi. He specializes in Law, Governance and Democracy. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org