BY: YENGI J. TOM, Alexandria University, EGYPT, SEPT/02/2013, SSN;
The recent move by President Salva Kirr sacking his entire cabinet and subsequent appointments and re-appointments of some few former ministers was met with jubilation and sadness by some south Sudanese. As the president strengthens his grip on power, he found it prudent to remove and reassign those he believes will weaken his chances of re-election come 2015.
The reading on the block though shows the sacked officials are filthy rich and therefore no need to continue getting salaries. With no Government official prosecuted of corruption since 2005 despite compelling evidence to that effect, south Sudanese should forget the rule of law with Salva Kiir at the helm of the government.
Actually, all that the regime in Khartoum is doing is being copied by the authorities in Juba except sharia law which would negatively impact on their business empires.
Since 2005, there is hardly any infrastructural development seen in south Sudan, few attempts were made with no or little regards to contract policies which eventually ended with nothing or shoddy work at best.
Awards of contracts were largely influenced by Salva Kiir’s cronies or cohorts.
The disagreements between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar should be seen as a positive step towards the rule of law because at least a credible opposition is in the making.
The other parties are just brief case parties that have no biting teeth and are not even known to a wider section of the public. The SPLM/DC could have provided a challenge but its inception in Khartoum left many south Sudanese in limbo as to what it really stands for!
Khartoum is well known for its stand towards south Sudanese since time memorial. Lam Akol, however still commands respect from his people and the SPLM/DC is going to continue eating big from the Chollo kingdom whatever the circumstances.
Salva Kiir and cohorts have long thought that by appointing Wani Igga as the vice president, this will give them an edge or a pass permit to the presidency come 2015. It’s like Salva Kiir has not learnt lessons from the previous elections.
The cases of Governor Bakasoro Bangasi and Ladu Gore should have made Pres. Salva think twice of his choice. Equatorians are interested in services delivery, the rule of law and not the cult of worshipping leaders.
Despite the perpetual corruption, insecurity and the lack of respect for the rule of law, Wani constantly refers to Kiir as an able leader, ‘his wise leadership,’ all the praises etc…
The previous elections were characterized by intimidations and rigging but this time round, things are going to be different if Riek Machar goes through becoming the chairperson of the SPLM party or if he decides to stand as an independent.
The Naath (Nuer) and all citizens of goodwill are all over in the security apparatus. Any attempts to rig and intimidate people during the coming election will be met with stiff resistance and therefore Salva Kiir needs to play his cards wisely or else he risks setting the whole country ablaze.
A recent survey conducted to know the popularity of the SPLM showed the party support seriously dwindling under Salva Kirr leadership. Unless Riek takes over the leadership, the SPLM party is just going to sink.
All what the SPLM party is now known for all over the country is corruption. It has become a common say to an extent that even the uneducated have of late known the meaning.
The chances of Salva Kiir winning the next presidential elections is just slim because the whole of Equatoria, if I am not mistaken, will vote for Riek Machar except eastern Kapoeta which is a strong hold of Eastern Equatoria Governor, Louis Lobong Lo-jore, who seems to be in bed with Kiir, and of course that’s just a minority which has little impact on the overall result.
Equatorians have been tolerant all these years because they believe one day a credible opposition will emerge and challenge Salva Kiir. The only person at the moment that Equatorians and other south Sudanese of goodwill can count on is Riek Machar.
The Greater Bor Dinka may still have memories of the 1991 SPLM/A split but they have no option other than to reconcile and forget the past because the atrocities were committed by junior officers who decided on their own to take matters into their own hands.
Machar, however, apologized to Bor elites on the incident. It’s a positive move that should be emulated by all because cases of murder in cold blood were rampart during the liberation struggle. More information will likely come out when Salva Kiir is out of power.
Up to date, the government is silent on the case of Isaiah Abraham who was killed in cold blood and many more cases that go unnoticed.
The killing of peaceful protesters early this year in Wau has landed Riek Machar another clean passage to the top seat from Western Bahr el ghazel State.
The removal of Chol Tong as governor of Lakes state has also divided the population in the state, Riek Machar can capitalize on it. The people of Northern Bar el ghazal are well informed and are therefore unlikely to vote along ethnic lines.
The Naath (Nuer) will of course not abandon their own son. Salva Kiir should expect minimal support from the Upper Nile region.
With opportunities hard to come by, Salva Kiir may attempt the undemocratic path and that would be unfortunate for a country that is beginning to smell peace.
Despite the fact that 80% of the people are uneducated, the few who are educated are disgruntled, always roaming the streets and the ministries searching for jobs.
As many youths become jobless by the day, they begin to explore criminal ways of earning a living which in most cases lands them in prison, the youths who constitute about 73 % of the population are not going to sit by and watch as Salva Kiir messes up the country.
Time will come for us to show our displeasure by peacefully voting him out if he decides to run for the presidency which looks likely the way things are moving in the country.
Riek Machar is a darling of the people at the moment because he and Dr. Nyamlel were able to tell the president at the face that the way he is running the country isn’t right. They faced the wrath and were dismissed from government.
They just have to make their case clear to the people and the rest follows!
Like many developing countries, many south Sudanese live in the country sides with little or no access to information. Machar should begin penetrating the country sides now using agents from their own communities. The earlier the better considering difficulties associated with logistics in a short time.
Somebody may ask, are the Equatorians not interested in the presidency? Equatorians are interested but it’s like they want a soft landing. They believe Machar can provide a soft ground by helping out with a good constitution that embodies all.
The promise of a federal system of governance by Riek Machar is what Equatorians have been yearning for for a very long time. That at last, they can make decisions independently and be respected.
A lot has been said about the current regime but it seems everything is falling on deaf ears or simply those in authority don’t care.
Some of the issues that all of us should know or be mindful of, are the ways about of the 4 billion US dollars swindled under Salva Kiir’s watch, the 3 billion US dollars ‘dura’ saga that remains unaccounted for up to now, the murder in cold blood of Isaiah Abraham and many more that go unnoticed.
Will there be an investigation and possible return of all these monies? Surely, if Machar can’t provide answers to the above, then he is likely going to spoil his ambition of becoming the president. Alternatively, he may just become a one term president. END