BY: JUMA MABOR MARIAL, RSS, MAR/25/2013, SSN;
This article is going to be very brief because it is a replica of what I had previously talked about and so far, many other commentators have had their logical opinions on the antagonistic or pessimistic aspects on the same topic. I am talking about the Care-taker ship of the Lakes state governor Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol.
To avoid some egoistic outburst from the already would-be beneficiaries of the two-months old government of Governor Dhuol, I must from the outset underscore that the man has so far performed remarkably in the area of security and with respect to taming of the criminal elements in the state. He has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that, there was indeed no political will to restore sanity in the state by the previous governors.
The establishment of Lang-cong prison camp says it all. The conditions that I have heard the inmates are being subjected to in that facility are the true characteristic of an ideal prison because, unlike previous centers (Alexic as a primary example) where the inmates are visited by their girlfriends and given the best food that they have never eaten from home until their imprisonment.
This current treatment of inmates by Governor Dhuol is in contrast and that is a true concept of deterrent and maintenance of law and order. This tells the criminal elements that, with freedom, you can enjoy a lot of things including taking your full bottle of water to the extent at which your stomach can allow.
However, at the same time even as the security aspect is contained by such stringent measures, the caretaker governor just like any of us have had so far some of his mismatches and the prime epitome of this is the ongoing misunderstanding between the governor and the state legislative assembly.
Because during his first days, he had threatened the assembly with shut down and two days ago, he sent a letter to the assembly instructing them not to debate or even do any amendments to the budget that may affect the executive arm of government or the office of the governor to be specific.
These are to say the least, some of the shortcoming traits that the caretaker governor have so far portrayed but again, they can be ratified if he get technocrats for his advisers.
Now, let us come straight to this topic of elections and not elections in Lakes state. Some opinionates have brought along several schools of thoughts on why the elections in lakes state should not be held after 60 days of Dhuol caretaker ship. Most if not all of them have cited the austerity measures, others have alluded to the fragility of security situation in lakes state and some of them do not even want anything to do with elections for several other reasons.
It is unanimous to note that the first two schools of thoughts about the austerity measures and persistence of insecurity are valid arguments but the question remains; do these factors justify the President of the Republic of South Sudan to keep mumb even after the lapse of sixty days as stipulated in the constitutions to hold the elections in Lakes state?
Of course not, why? Because, Kiir in considering the two options above would have, during the caretaker ship of Dhuol introduced some amendments to article 101 (s) of the TCSS in the national assembly to extend Dhuol governorship after 22nd March 2013. Up to now, Kiir has not done that and we assumed that he has silently extended Dhuol governorship.
Does his silence in these circumstances therefore mean a breach of article 101(s) of TCSS and insinuating that the citizens of south Sudan are taken for fools? That we don’t know how to read and interpret the provisions of our own constitution?
That when there are crisis in one side of the country, then the opportunity has arisen for the president to blatantly violate the constitution?
That we are all threatened and our rights to expression suppressed to the extent that we cannot say, sir, this is not correct?
That if there is insecurity, then it all amounted or tantamount to declaration of state of emergency where article 101(s) and other laws of our country should be suspended?
The list can go on and on and on but again, something has to be done and in fact, it is only after date 22nd March 2013 when the caretaker ship of Dhuol came to an end and no statement to that effect from the president that I realize even the legal advisory department, directorate or whatever you called it, is just but a ceremonial institution fitted for political accommodation and individual satisfaction.
How can I afford to allow the president apply the same constitution selectively while I claim to be a legal professional?
Those are rhetorical as well as food for thoughts but again, I want people to acknowledge that, we all have the right to petition the president for the violation of the constitution.
I should have been the first to do that, but guess what, our judiciary is not also trustworthy because the people there are hand-picked and any lawsuit that puts their master as a defendant has obvious outcome….. the petitioner losses.
Finally, the least the President would have done was to draft one of his decrees and extend the mandate of the caretaker governor up to 2015 and take the same to parliament for approval because I am positive, the rubber-stamping parliament would not have asked him any reason why he is bringing such an amendment at the eleventh hour.
As things stand now, we are in a quagmire but take this to the bank. The first violation of our constitution is successful under Mayardit leadership. Article 101 (s) is now useless…
Juma Mabor Marial is a Lawyer by Profession and is reachable at email@example.com