Whimsical Decision Making and a Dysfunctional Political Party

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, JUL/28/2013, SSN;

I was never a fan of late Dr. John Garang but, on principle, I admired one quality in him: extensive reading and autodidactic attitude. Comfortingly enough, he read and referenced issues and facts he postulated and argued for or about. This is a quality, among other things, officials in Juba should adopt. SPLM and the GOSS should also know that any institution is governed by behavioural and information dissemination protocols. People should not talk anyhow…or because they ‘feel’ it’s right. It might feel right but facts might go contrary to that feel-good-ness.

Face value application (or violation) of the constitution and out of context utterance of statements such as ‘it’s a normal democratic process’ don’t do justice to the already jittery nation.

We still have an unconstitutional governor in Lake State and the president knows that’s a clear violation of the constitution’s sixty day (60) requirement. Taban Deng Gai was removed unconstitutionally because we know there is no crisis in Unity State.

What the president and South Sudanese need to realize is that section (101r) doesn’t only say there just has to be a crisis in the state. The crisis has to be one threatening ‘national security and territorial Integrity’.

If the crisis is not threatening national security then citing such a crisis becomes unconstitutional. Jonglei State is the state whose crisis is threatening national security and territorial integrity but the governor is still there.

The president’s actions are just whimsical rather than constitutional!
The onus in on the president to therefore explain how the ‘crisis’, if any, in the Lake State or Unity State, threaten our ‘national security and territorial integrity’. In essence, the president is ruling a nation of people not nation of cows. People need to know.

Abdon Agau, the government secretary general told the media that president Kiir can fire the cabinet without giving any reasons; arguing that it’s his ‘constitution right’ not to give explanations!

What? It’s supposed to be a ‘national constitution’ not ‘whimsical presidential constitution.’

Mr. President should know that he’s a servant of South Sudanese not their boss. He’s only the boss of his cabinet, not South Sudanese. Ideally, the president has to justify his actions to the South Sudanese people because his decisions directly affect the average citizen.

Make no mistake, president Kiir should account to US as South Sudan. We employed him not the other way round.

Officials like the always-in-your-face Marial Benjamin (while I know he has improved lately) have the knack of talking without checking their facts. This is indeed scary for South Sudan’s future.

Besides, both the SPLM and the government of South Sudan don’t adhere to functionality protocols. This is the source of the problem within SPLM.

There’s nothing ‘democratic’ about firing a cabinet. Just because something is constitutional doesn’t mean it’s democratic. Actions of individuals can’t be called democratic even if they are clearly constitutional. Constitutional actions are necessary undemocratic decisions within a democracy. Not all decisions within a democracy are democratic. This is the culture of talking anyhow.

Both Pagan Amum and Riek Machar should know that belonging to an organization requires adhering to organizational protocols and internal avenues of problem solving. Disagreements within a political party are normal, however, these disagreements should be solved behind closed doors.

If you can’t solve internal issues behind closed doors then maybe belonging to one political party isn’t such a good idea.

Publicly criticizing your own political party and the president as a senior party official is wrong…it doesn’t happen anywhere in the world.

And how naïve would someone criticize the boss, tells the boss ‘I want your job’ and expects the boss to say ‘go ahead, take my job…you are a great man!’ I don’t know which world Riek Machar is living in.

What he’s saying regarding the country is admittedly the general truth, that the country is off the cliff and something has to change to salvage it, however, this doesn’t mean entering into the culture of ‘care-free-ness.’

An able leader would seek helpful ways of solving problems. You don’t get to criticize your boss, an uncritical boss for that matter, and get to keep your job. What were you smoking, Mr. Machar? Ambition intoxication?

In the end, the president needs to justify his actions, follow the constitution and let his officials know that talking to the media should be bound by party or government protocols, and that facts have to be researched and appropriately referenced for the government to have some respect in the eyes of South Sudan.

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese poet and author living in Canada. He’s the author of upcoming analytical book, South Sudan Ideologically: Tribal Socio-Democracy, SPLM Ideologues, Juba Corruptocrats, Khartoum Theocrats and their Time-Frozen Leadership. To contact the author visit www.kuirthiy.info or www.kuirthiy.com

13 Comments

  1. Dear our contributor Mr. Kuir Garang:

    Your article is good like others as well you have written before. Thank you. But I understand your way how you were admired the late Dr. John Garang De Mabior and how you had ingrained him in your mind most! My dear, people are different from one another in PERSONALITY BY NATURE! He might have been given by God onto him!

    Come to Kirr, Riak, and pagan, they are all part of a mess! None of them ever doing any good!

  2. Tongun Lo Loyuong says:

    Interesting op-ed piece as usual, Garang. But it would help greatly to define what type of democracy we are talking about in South Sudan before rushing into dismissing current political developments into the realm of non-democracy. But perhaps it will help even more to read before condemning others in an article that is widely circulated.
    Now I am not saying there were no blunders with the manner the constitution was cited in the latest round of decrees. In fact my hunch is that the miss-citation of the constitution may owe much to the fact that the deliberations were conducted in haste and probably in a language foreign to the one the constitution was written in, and hence the loss in translation of citing the right articles! Either way I enjoyed reading your article as usual!

    • Aj says:

      Tongun,
      that could be a real issue. It’s really sad to see a leader making a huge mistake when taking national issues and opening it for the whole world to see. He need to pay attention and next time Kirr needs to check before acting.

      AJ

  3. wau nar says:

    you wrote a very nice article i like it, but you are giving an inappropriate example of kiir being a boss and macher is his cabinet. what if the president is taking a wrong direction and he is taking those decisions because he is paving he way to get stake in the power,and the vice president is willing.
    is he not having that right to claim that post as long as he is a south Sudanese? anyway leadership is services, it’s not a position, and it’s not something you do TO people, it’s something you do WITH people.
    kiir won’t do it to people while people are not in need of his dictating approach, thanks.
    wau

  4. Aj says:

    Garang,
    I have to honestly admire your article that has a good intention. I just want to add that, the nation needs a real opposition which stand any pressure current party to act on behalf of people and not personal interest. I do believe World Bank and IMF will attace loan conditionality to Kirr’s government to form multi-party system. Right now, there is no such thing as multi-party system but dictatorship in making.
    I would like to add federalism as a way to deepen our development, I mean services need to be deliver to real people in villages and federal system is best tool to do the job in South Sudan and curb down corruption.

    Aj

  5. Mr. Kuir Garang,

    I think Dr. Machar has done what he’s supposed to do and what he can still do. President Kiir is not a son of God to be blamed. Dr. Machar deserves to blame president Kiir for the crimes happening around South Sudan. For example, President George W. Bush was criticized by so many republican party members including secretary of state Collins Powell for the war in Iraq but he did not dismiss them. For how long will you continue defending president Kiir’s stupid action? Is that how will you be running the country?

  6. William Deng says:

    Garang,

    You wrote an interesting piece. Thanks as always for your work. The thinking of a democratic South Sudan under a leadership of Gen. Kirr is hardly to dream for. A good political leader can’t shy to face critics within if in fact a person has a will as transformational leader. What right does a president have to dissolve a government, include removing vice president at will with no due cause nor a public statement to his people just because president has a clause granted to do just that?

    People talk about this thing is not new. Please stop fooling yourselves. This thing is new. Where in a world something like that could happen, except South, where a head of a nation would put a country on such a horrible dilemma? Old Sudan had never dissolved the whole government and removed the vice president with no reason and preplans on alternative scenario. Who are South Sudanese people by the way? Does any of us think Gen. Kirr could go away with this blatant political mistake if this is not done in South Sudan and by Gen. Kirr?
    Why in the world we faulted Khartoum for mistreating and killing us if in fact Khartoum is better than what we are doing to ourselves? Our tribal lenses will destroy our existing, believe me! If we are united as a nation and not just jungles of tribes, one man with tribal corrupted few plus a dangerous dictatorial mentor cannot be allowed to plan an extinguishing of a beloved nation.

    Remember, South Sudanese fought colonies of distinct groups for several centuries and prevailed at last. Who do Gen. Kirr and his corrupted friends think they are? Thanks again, Mr. Garang for your analytical perspective.

  7. wau nar says:

    kiir has proved to the s.sudanese that SPLM/A belongs to dinka and it was brought by dinka efforts, so who so ever is claiming to get the chairmanship and he is not a dinka then he is not allowed. by saying go and form your own party, he is stupid enough…. this is POOR approach to politics.
    in comparesion with Dr. riek machar, kiir must convince himself that he is unwanted president to non-dinka he is insisting just poor mind. the way i am seeing him he is going to fight and this is a dinka way of doing things when he is a loser……

  8. GatCharwearbol says:

    Kuir e Garang,

    Thank you for recognizing the inappropriate removal of Taban Deng Gai, the former governor of Unity State. Taban Deng’s removal is purely political; he did not commit any wrongdoing. Citizens of Unity State have recognized that despite the fact that they do not like the former governor. Kiir did not respond to their call when they really needed Taban to be removed. Why now? Something is fishy here!

    But I beg to disagree with you regarding Dr. Riek Machar removal. I realize that your support for Kiir is emotionally motivated. Should we all be boisterous of our President even when he is wrong? This is not how things work. Presidents are criticized even by their party’s members across the world. Aren’t you living in Canada? Don’t you watch political news and see how those who are in the same party disagree with each other? Nobody gets fired because he disagrees with President? If it was so, Barrack Obama would have already fired everybody in his cabinet by now. Please do not let your emotion interfere with your logical reasoning.

  9. GatCharWearbol,

    I agree with you man. King Abdullah Mayardit supporters are covering king Abdullah Mayardit ‘s goofy and dictatorship actions by rushing to 1991 incident all the time. They keep bringing up 1991 split as a shield for hiding the facts the South Sudan citizens need to know about their government.

  10. GatCharwearbol says:

    Mr. Bentiu Ramaran,

    Thank you! I know precisely what Kiir Mayardit supporters are fishing for. They want Dr. Machar to get indicted. But that is not going to happen. Dr. Machar did not commit any crime. If anything, it should be Kiir Mayardit with his oversize hat to explain himself to the ICC.

    What has been taking place in Jonglei is a crime against humanity at best. Funnily enough, the so-called President is doing nothing to suppress the situation. He is actually adding fuel to the fire by distributing Guns to his Dinka Bor. How giving more guns out will help the situation? I am flabbergasted to say the least.

    • Dan says:

      Gatcharwearbol:

      Is Salva Kiir really the one arming Nuer and sending them to Murle’s county? When was the last time you heard of Dinka from Jonglei mobilizing to go and loot and massacre their neighbours? While Salva Kiir is not blameless, we should not blame him for what is happening in Jonglei because what is happening is a normal way of life for both Lou and Murle.

  11. Kuir Garang,
    You have written a nice article. Thank you especially when you said I quote “Ideally, the president has to justify his actions to the South Sudanese people because his decisions directly affect the average citizen.” However, like any other Dinkas you are not immunized from Riekophobia!

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