BY: Mulana Deng, SEPT/18/2013, SSN;
This reappointment of Telar Ring Deng on September 16 shows how Slava Kiir Mayardit is similar to the former Liberian President, Samuel K. Doe, who was known of leading his country into failure. The evidence has shown Kiir has failed us in many ways even when his decisions might seem too beneficial to us as he always wrongly insist. These evidences are the 16 mile border with Sudan, Oil fee agreement with Sudan, the oil shutdown and the ongoing insecurity in South Sudan, just to name a few.
When south Sudanese lost their beloved son and mighty Leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabior, many people thought that President Salva Kiir Mayardit would flawlessly lead them to the promised land for freedom and prosperity.
Many believed that even if they have lost their leader the second man will lead them but, however, it didn’t turned out that way. It has turn out to what can be compared with what happened in Liberia. When Samuel Kanyon Doe came to power he totally lead the country to failure.
Doe’s taking over was initially welcome and generally seen as a shift favouring the majority of the population that had largely been excluded from participation in government.
This was comparable to Kiir’s situation in 2005 when he was chosen to lead after the death of Dr John Garang De Mabior, because many of Southern Sudanese who were with Khartoum government, were in disagreement with Garang’s vision and leadership.
Without wasting much time, these people congregated themselves in the Government South Sudan within a short period of time. Many of these were appointed or nominated to ministerial positions.
The only part that cannot be compared is that Kiir inherited the seat form John Garang de Mabior but Samuel K. Doe came into power through military Coup.
Undoubtedly, both Salva Kiir and Samuel Doe of Liberia are much comparable because they both failed to deliver the political goods and services to their citizens.
Their leadership was unfortunately fuelled with unbelievable corruption, nepotism and lack of vision and leadership ability.
Both Salva Kiir and late Doe never had any quality education to lead their respective countries, but nevertheless, they both had been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from well known universities, Doe’s during his state visit to South Korea and Dr. Doe was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Seoul. Kiir had his honorary degree from Kisumu, Kenya. These honorary degrees sadly didn’t deliver the best-needed leadership.
Inevitably, their two governments are or were encumbered by corruption and much tyrannical rule. Samuel Doe’s government was more repressive when it came to freedom of speech. Newspapers were often shut down and political activities completely banned.
Same as Kiir government, he often threatens to shut down or arrest the news reporters like Ngor Aguot Garang, a journalist that was taken into custody and tortured by South Sudan’s security for the publication an opinion piece that criticized him.
Not only threatening of Journalists, Kiir’s government is infamously accused of ordering the killing of journalists and opinion writers like the late Isaiah Abraham.
Same thing unimaginably is happening in South Sudan, in the issue of 4 billion dollars of which president Kiir seemingly knows who are those 75 culprits as evidenced by those letters he sent to them individually and personally sent them pleading with them to return the money.
Reportedly, Samuel Doe did the same to Liberia’s money in 1990s.
Kiir is equally suppressive like Doe when it comes to freedom of speech, mistreatment of minorities ethnic groups, analogous to what is going on in Jonglie state today with Murle and many other minorities in South Sudan.
Politically, Kiir is not any different from Samuel Doe. Doe used to portray himself as an enlightened leader whose actions were intended to bring “relief to many.” Currently, President Kiir is trying to do the same in order to maintain his legitimacy.
Resembling Samuel Doe further, the suspension of his Vice president and the entire ministerial cabinet were ways to show and warn the people and to enlighten and to regain his legitimacy back.
Kiir is enjoying political support from Western countries as Doe enjoyed during the cold war. “The United States valued Liberia as an important ally during the Cold War, as it helped to contain the spread of Soviet influence in Africa”.
Kiir is not any different. He is enjoying the support of the United States and many other countries because South Sudan is blessed the much needed commodity, oil. As former U.S. Ambassador to the South Sudan Susan Page said, “the United State is interested in the South Sudan’s oil sector.”
There are indisputable evidences that show that President Kiir’s leadership has failed. Yet, he’s political interest in being in power isn’t changed.
Just like Samuel Doe who drafted a constitution, got elected to the presidency, changed official birth date from 1951 to 1950 and ordered the arrest of 91 officials of William R. Tolbert who was the president before him.
This is very much similar to what is going in South Sudan against the so-called Garang boys, many of whom are now accused of corruption now waiting for their charges.
President Kiir can be compared to Samuel Doe who is known to have failed Liberian people in many ways. Kiir has failed south Sudanese politically, educationally and militarily as Samuel Doe did.
The way he runs the government, being surrounded by people who are only loyal to him mainly those who will not criticize him is also the way Samuel Doe did. His failed leadership shown by the technique, and the way he reacts whenever he criticized.
Just like Doe, Kiir reacts violently with threats and suspensions without delay to whoever criticizes him. He usually does so because he doesn’t want any one to criticize his government or his failed leadership and doesn’t want to acknowledge his failure to deliver the essential political goods and services just like Late Samuel Doe.
So, what should South Sudanese wait for or do after the election? South Sudan should really decide something about this, especially those leaders who are within the parliament representing their constituencies.
The president cannot and should not be threatening elected leaders, in the appointment of Vice President Joseph Wani Igga and suspension of elected governors.
On the other hand, he can’t be writing of letters to those who have taken the 4 Billions dollars which proves he’s protecting them from justice for their misdeeds.
Like now, his reappointment of the man he once suspended because of his corruption. What is kiir doing; isn’t he ruling the country like his own house?
Kiir has failed and this failure is not what our people want. Our people want development that can only be delivered politically and democratically; whereby the government is run by the people, for the people, who know how and what do to, and be educated without threat from their leader.
From: Mulana Deng